2019 has been a pretty dismal year for the North American box office. As a whole, it's the lowest it has been in 8 years and this past President's Day long weekend is the lowest in 15 years. Last year, the entertainment industry was seeing record breaking highs for the month of February, thanks to the massive success of Marvel Studios' Black Panther, which is up for the Academy Award for Best Picture this year.
Even with the carryover success of Warner Bros.' Aquaman, January of this year was still down 15% from last year. With that being said, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Greatest Showman, and The Last Jedi helped to carryover from late 2017 into January 2018. Total revenue for January 2019 came in about $812 million, which is the lowest since 2011. Paul Dergarabedian of Comscore had this to say about this year's box office slump.
"This lack has left the industry stuck in neutral as we await the arrival of Captain Marvel, which will begin a much-needed and inevitable revival at the multiplex."
Captain Marvel hits theaters on March 8th, which is still a few weeks away. It has been estimated that the Marvel Studios project will take in anywhere from $100 million and up during its debut weekend, giving the box office the shot in the arm that it so badly needs at this time. As of this writing, M. Night Shyamalan's Glass is the highest grossing movie of 2019 thus far, with $105.2 million with The Upside taking second, having earned $95.1 million.
Over the long weekend, James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez's Alita: Battle Angel, a project that Cameron has been developing for years, easily took the number one spot, but it only brought in just over $43 million, and that's counting Thursday night previews. Even though the movie opened at slightly higher than it was initially tracking, it is still seen as a letdown in terms of how much it cost to produce and when looked at the staggering success of last year's Black Panther, which is a pretty unfair comparison. At this time, Alita: Battle Angel is the fifth highest grossing movie of 2019.
Through this past Sunday, the domestic box office revenue for 2019 is at $1.2 billion, which is down nearly 20% from last year. But, that doesn't mean that the year is doomed. Next week's How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World has a great buzz around it and it should be able to do pretty well. Captain Marvel in March will certainly help and then Avengers: Endgame is up at the end of April and that should be when the year really picks up. From there, we have Dumbo, The Joker, Aladdin, Spider-Man: Far From Home, The Lion King, IT 2, Toy Story 4, Star Wars 9, and many more to help boost this year's ticket sales. You can check out the rest of this year's box office totals over at Box Office Mojo.