— From the pages of FLL#37[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Darling, I don’t know why I go to extremes. Too high or too low, there ain’t no in-betweens.” – Billy Joel[/pullquote]
2015 saw Penn Cinema break records with Fast and Furious 7 and Jurassic World, only to shatter those records in December with Star Wars. Our old single-day attendance record was about 6,400, but in December we broke it by serving 6,800 people only to turn around a week later and serve 7,719 people on December 26th!
So, that’s cool. But, 2015 also brought us Victor Frankenstein and Blackhat, both of which failed to cross $10 million. And don’t get me started on my biggest disappointment of the year, Vacation, which wasn’t even funny despite a perfect premise and support from the original Griswolds!
Unfortunately, 2015 has also set some records for low grosses. Entourage flopped at $32 million, Pan grew old at $35 million, and Our Brand is Crisis, even with two A-list stars, died at $7 million. Blackhat, one of the lowest grossing Universal films, starred Chris Helmsworth and cost $70 million to make, but managed to only gross $8 million. All of a sudden, Vacation is looking pretty good.
Okay, so every year has its hits and misses. What I’m taking note of here are the extremes. The lowest lows and literally the highest highs. Too high or too low, there ain’t no in-betweens.
In my mind, I see 2015 as the year of disparity—a handful of movies dominating the box office grosses. I think 2016 holds better chances for a steady stream of successful movies. The Revenant got things kicked off back in January with a solid performance, and I think this spring will be fun, too. Zootopia, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, and Batman v. Superman all bring consistently intriguing storylines to audiences. And you heard it here first— The Jungle Book is gonna be a massive hit when it hits theaters in April.
After April, there are a ton of top shelf movies slated for release. And that’s good news for movie goers, but what I like most about this year is that my potential favorite movie will likely be one that is not even on my radar right now. I also like that 2016 will outdo 2015 on the strength of a more balanced slate of films. Every week will yield successful movies right up until Rogue One opens in December to grab the 2016 box office title away from Captain America: Civil War.
If 2015 was the year of extremes, then 2016 will bring balance and consistency to the box office. With apologies to Billy Joel, it’s still a great song…