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Thanks, Hollywood: Summer box office down 22 percent from 2015

Sequels and millennials are turning box office gold into box office mold

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If you couldn’t tell from our not-so-friendly film reviews as of late, this summer sucks at the movies. Too many Hollywood studios doubled-down on unnecessary sequels — ahem, Alice Through the Looking Glass — and even would-be bonafide hits — achoo, X-Men: Apocalypse — are struggling to connect with audiences. As expected, it’s starting to affect the industry.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, summer box-office revenue starting from May 6th to June 12th is roughly $1.24 billion, which marks a 22 percent decline from the $1.597 collected from May 1st to June 14th of 2015. “Yeah, but Civil War came out May 1st,” you say? Sure, but that still means the box office is down 14 percent from 2015’s $1.377 billion.

To be fair, last year was more or less a fluke, considering Universal’s Jurassic World surprised every soul in Hollywood when it shattered all-time box office records and stomped away as one of the highest grossing films of the year. Who claimed the same weekend this year? Warcraft, Now You See Me 2, and The Conjuring 2, which, yeah, isn’t the same.

On the plus side, the year-to-date revenue is up over 2015 by more than four percent, but as The Hollywood Reporter also notes, that “margin was much wider heading into summer.” It also doesn’t help that only two releases so far this summer have crossed the $100 million mark: Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War and Fox’s X-Men: Apocalypse.

Naturally, that’s going to change in the weeks to come, especially this weekend: After all, it’s very, very unlikely Pixar’s Finding Dory won’t rocket past $100 million by Monday. Still, as more and more sequels fall wayside, every studio has plenty reason to be shaking in their suits about their upcoming slate.

But really, there’s more to fear: Hollywood doesn’t just have a sequel problem, but a millennial problem, too. A recent report by The Atlantic suggests that “the most important demographic to Hollywood, 18-to-24-year-olds, is abandoning movies faster than any other group.” The reason? They’re turning to mobile apps.

Needless to say, there are a lot of anxious meetings going on right now.

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