With 2023 winding down, we can look back on a year that celebrated just as many box office successes as it did failures. While Barbie taught us what life was like in the real world, The Flash proved that just because something is rumored to be a massive success, that doesn’t mean it will be. With 2024 looming over the horizon, it appears as though it will be a nasty year for box office numbers despite the slate of highly-anticipated titles on the way.
Sure, the upcoming year will bring audiences Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two and Todd Phillips’s Joker: Folie a Deux, but it’s the early-year pacing that causes concern for the 2024 box office. As we’re all well aware, the historical writers’ and actors’ duo strike greatly slowed down progress on productions, with many just beginning to get the wheels turning in the late fall and even earlier this month. Because of this, studios were forced to push back release dates on a slew of films, meaning that there are a handful of weekends that are void of big-time new releases altogether.
Sadly, this likely won’t affect the high brass at the studios quite as much as it will the mom-and-pop theaters just trying to bring their communities the most recent films. As of right now, there are 107 new titles set to screen in the new year, with this year’s total summing at 124. That’s a big number when you consider that it was already a rough year for ticket sales, with 2024 looking to be no better for the box office.
Specifically, no major titles are set to drop on the weekends of January 26, March 15, May 31, October 11, December 6, and December 27. This leaves a lot of opportunities open, as you’ll notice that the early summer blockbuster rush will be lacking, as well as a prime spot for the spooky season. Likewise, the end of 2024 will likely be a fizzle at the box office as December 27 is blank, leaving audiences without much choice for the holiday rush.
2023 saw box office numbers climbing steadily for the first time since the pandemic as the more well-known studios dropped tent poles on an almost weekly basis. Although we still have one more day to go, the total number earned this year is around $9 billion, with the 2024 box office expected to drop by a drastic $1 billion, flattening out somewhere around $8 billion.
While Marvel and DC both had a challenging year with ticket sales, both studios are looking to 2024 for a hopeful box office comeback. But, again, their big money-earners won’t be arriving until later in the year, so both studios are likely hopeful that audiences will be well-rested from superhero fatigue by then. For Marvel, Deadpool 3 crashes into theaters on July 26, while Joker: Folie a Deux debuts on October 4.
So yes, while 2024 will bring on eagerly awaited productions like the aforementioned DC and Marvel flicks, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, and Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, there are plenty of blank spaces for the upcoming year’s box office to plummet.