Americans are still staying away from theaters (and streaming) in droves for new movies as September’s box office take was at its lowest in 25 years.
The box office take was so bad that only the Sept. in 2020 came in less — and remember, that was when theaters were closing up due to the pandemic hysteria.
With a mere $275 million in ticket sales, the take hasn’t been this bad since 1997 and was the first month since then to come in at less than $350 million.
“To date, the running total for September 2022 is 20% behind last year’s pace and 52% behind the pace set this month in 2019,” according to The Wrap. Even last Sept. Hollywood raked in $367.1 million in Sept.
The Wrap adds:
And with Warner Bros. reporting a final opening weekend total of $19.3 million for “Don’t Worry Darling,” this month will be the first September since 2001 — when the September 11 attacks crippled interest in moviegoing — that has failed to produce a film with an opening weekend of over $20 million.
Last year, Disney/Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” earned a Labor Day record $94 million four-day weekend opening. Before the pandemic, Warner Bros. and New Line set a September record with $123 million opening for “It,” with a sequel opening to $92 million two years later.
But the $19 million openings for “The Woman King” and “Don’t Worry Darling” this month are also below the rather pedestrian openings for September releases in the early-to-mid-2000s, even before inflation. Films with higher openings include Tim Story’s cult comedy “Barbershop” ($20.6 million in 2002), Robert Rodriguez’s “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” ($23.4 million in 2003) and Paul W.S. Anderson’s “Resident Evil: Apocalypse” ($23 million in 2004).
Hollywood is now pinning its hopes on November and December to get its earnings back in line as sequels to Avatar and Black Panther will debut.Commentary