The box office has been off to a pretty slow start in 2019, down significantly from the record-setting year in 2018. There have been a couple of exceptions, as movies like Us and Captain Marvel have risen to the occasion and dominated expectations, but those are about the only two real big victories of the year so far. There have been a lot more duds in the mix. Wonder Park, Alita: Battle Angel, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, Disney's Dumbo, and the most recent bomb, Hellboy, have all fallen well below projections and made for a lackluster outing at the box office.
According to the numbers from Comscore, per The Hollywood Reporter, the estimated $2.74 billion earned at the domestic box office in 2019 is down 17% from the same time period in 2018, and 18% from 2017, a year bolstered by early hits. However, there are a lot of big movies this year hoping to change this negative trajectory, and none bigger than the soon-to-be-released Avengers: Endgame.
If there is a movie that is truly going to "save" the box office in 2019, it's Marvel's latest Avengers film, which is set to wrap up the last decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie has already smashed pre-sale ticket records and could open as high as $300 million domestically in its first weekend.
"It may be tough to imagine at this point that 2019 could ultimately post record-breaking revenues, but a slow start that has handed the industry a 17 percent year-to-date deficit will in less than two weeks begin to assemble perhaps the greatest comeback in box office history with a monumental slate that will set into motion a herculean reversal of fortune," said Paul Dergarabedian of Comscore.
Of course, the event in two weeks that Dergarabedian is referring to is the release of Avengers: Endgame, which should begin a massive climb in box office revenue through the rest of the year. Disney alone has a massive slate on the way that should quickly close the gap on last year's record-setting numbers. In addition to Endgame, Disney has the likes of Aladdin, The Lion King, Toy Story 4, Frozen 2, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker all on the way in 2019. Each of those is bound to provide a substantial box-office haul, with at least three or four of them eyeing the $1 billion mark.
The other major studios have also have some big blockbusters set to debut this year. Universal is bringing The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw to the table. Sony has Men In Black: International, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 2. Also on the way this year are Warner Bros. tentpoles Godzilla: King of Monsters and the R-rated Joker, as well as Paramount's Terminator: Dark Fate.
This year as started off slow, but things should turn around with the release of Avengers: Endgame next week.
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