As summer 2018 has dragged on, the box office has remained booming. However, Warner Brothers has been a surprising afterthought in one of the primetime blockbuster windows of the year. Sony Pictures and Paramount, have accounted for a mere 2.2 percent and 4.2 percent of domestic market share, respectively, from May 4 to July 8.
For the most part, this summer has been dominated by Disney and Universal, with the two studious accounting for a whopping 61 percent of domestic revenue. This kind of one-sided dominance in the box office was simply unattainable just a few years ago, but what the shift in balance of power during the summer season displays is that rather than compete with giant franchises like Disney’s Marvel and Star Wars films or Universal’s Jurassic World, studios like Warner Bros. are instead focusing on the rest of the year, and allowing the Disney’s and Universal’s of the industry lay claim to the summer window. Universal for example, opted to set their two biggest releases of 2018 for the winter in Aquaman and the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Hal Vogel, CEO of Vogel Capital Management discussed how “we haven’t had something like this in my memory. People aren’t feeling stable. And Disney is benefiting from this disarray.”
And it’s not like people are abandoning the movie theatres. Quite the opposite actually; summer revenue for North America is fast approaching record levels. According to comScore, that number is $2.617 billion between May 4 and July 8, nearly good for a record and a 14 percent uptick from just a year ago, as last summer numbers plummeted lower than they had been in 20 years.
In addition, there’s no denying that hero films are still Hollywood’s largest earners. This summer, Disney’s Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp and Incredibles 2 and Fox’s Deadpool 2 account for more than $1 billion in domestic profits. Even Solo: A Star Wars Story, a movie underperformed significantly, Disney and Lucasfilm, still tacked on $210.8 million. And with their Memorial Day weekend release, other studios declined to challenge them on one of the biggest opening weekends of the year. Through all that, the House of Mouse has remained in the spotlight, with their domestic market share clocking in at a whopping 43.6 percent. This is largely as a result of the booming success of summer hits Infinity War, which generated $674.9 million and Incredibles 2 at $503.8 million. The two pictures have also become the top-grossing superhero and animated films of all time, respectively.