The 2015 Summer Box Office is the second highest in history, with Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Inside Out leading the pact. Some thought these past four months would bring an all-time high, but a few poorly positioned flops kept that from happening. From May 1st until Labor Day weekend, domestic ticket sales reached $4.48 billion. That comes as a 10.4% increase over 2014's Summer Box Office numbers.
2014 had the worst summer numbers in seven years. Right now, an exact audience attendance count for 2015 can't be quantified until the average ticket price data is released. Some speculate that it will land between 518 million and 530 million, which is a big lift from the 495 million people who spent time at the local cinemaplex last year. The numbers should be roughly equivalent to the 538 million movie fans who purchased tickets in summer 2012. One thing that helped bump the numbers up was the fact that Labor Day weekend arrived a full seven days later than it did last year.
Despite that small advantage, 2015 still trails 2013, which brought in statewide ticket sales of $4.75 billion, with admissions topping out at 587 million. The biggest benefactors of the 2015 Summer Box Office appear to be both Disney and Universal. Together, the two studios nabbed 60% of the market share for the season. Sony and Warner Bros. both lagged behind, and are responsible for some of this past season's biggest flops, including Pixels, Aloha and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Despite Disney doing great business these past couple of months, it had the season's biggest bomb with Tomorrowland, followed by 20th Century Fox's Fantastic Four reboot.
Once again, for the umpteenth summer in a row, superhero and comic book movies reign supreme alongside sequels. Of the top ten grossing movies released in summer 2015, only San Andreas and Straight Outta Compton were from outside those genres, appearing as the only two worthy original films. And even at that, Straight Outta Compton is based on an existing true-story with a built-in fan base. This summer, a lot of art house and indie movies found it very difficult to find an audience, with critical hits like Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and The D Train not doing as well as they may have in the past. Some claim Twitter and Facebook had the biggest impact on what viewers flocked to this year. Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak, who cumulated all the box office numbers, had this to say about social media playing a big part in ticket sales.
"It's almost an immediate impact. I don't think the weather, big time news or even catastrophic events have that much of an influence. But a film has to fire on all cylinders in terms of social media in order to work."
Despite 2015 lagging behind 2013 in terms of overall ticket sales, 2015 did bring a few box office milestones. The global earnings of Minions, Jurassic World and Avengers: Age of Ultron mark the first time in any summer that three films have passed the $1 billion mark. Right now, four films have reached $1 billion throughout the course of all 2015, matching the record set in 2012. But 2015 should surpass that with latest the James Bond adventure Spectre and Star Wars: The Force Awakens still to come in the months ahead. Combined with the final sequel The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 and the continuing growth of the Chinese box office, some speculate that 2015 will be the first year where the global box office tops $40 billion, with $11 billion coming from the states alone.
It's expected that in coming years, the big event pictures like Star Wars will continue to rule the market place, though many changes are coming, especially in the way smaller films are distributed. It's expected that a digital revolution is in play that could see the coming years not be as lucrative as 2015. However it plays out, this year wasn't such a bad one at the summer box office. Here are the top ten films, some of which are still playing in theaters and will only continue to grow as we merge into fall.
Top Ten 2015 Summer Movies
|2||Avengers: Age of Ultron|
|5||Pitch Perfect 2|
|6||Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation|
|9||Mad Max: Fury Road|
|10||Straight Outta Compton|