Hollywood strikes slash the summer box office

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The Future. With Barbenheimer representing the last wave of star-driven publicity prior to the duel Hollywood strikes, August is the first month of new movie releases without the marketing help of its cast. While some films have already been pushed to next year, a few underperforming titles during August and September could incite another wave of reschedules if a deal with striking actors hasn’t been reached yet.

Minus the A-list
Without actors to stump for new releases, studios are tempering expectations at the box office.

  • Studio sources told THR they’ll likely lose as much as 15% of the expected box office revenue because actors aren’t doing publicity.
  • In a first specific example, Paramount reports TMNT: Mutant Mayhem would’ve likely made up to $10 million more than it did domestically during its opening weekend ($43.1 million) if its cast could’ve been out doing interviews.
  • This weekend saw the releases of Warner Bros.’ Blue Beetle and Universal’s Strays, which both came in slightly below already-low expectations, despite some creative marketing.

As one unnamed top studio executive notes, not having stars doing press makes “you lose the cultural impact of having talent talk about the film. Some movies wouldn’t have worked anyway, but they had more of a shot.”

With negotiations stalled between SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP (and so many more movies still on the release calendar), we’ll get a clearer picture of the scope of the impact soon enough.


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