April 24, 2024

New Data Points to Strong Openings

  • The much-anticipated “Barbenheimer” opening weekend is finally here.
  • New data suggests that “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” could contribute to the deterioration of the Hollywood box office in 2023.
  • A lot is going on with the openings, with the industry facing two simultaneous strikes and a string of underperforming films.

Temperatures are rising around the world, with one notable exception: the box office, where this year’s movie openings have been, at best, mostly lukewarm.

Along with a handful of unexpected entrants like a Super Mario Bros.-themed movie this spring, there are tentpole debuts like “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” which premiered on June 30. generally after a short fall analyst expectations.

But an analysis of data from multiple social media platforms prepared exclusively for Insider by Diesel Labs suggests that the forecast for the Hollywood box office could change from cloudy to sunny – even as the industry grapples with its first double-strike situation in more than that. six decadesand members of SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America have quit.

Social media attention for upcoming and recent movie releases appears to be trending higher for titles like “Barbie,” “Oppenheimer,” and “Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Pt. 1” compared to the summer 2022 blockbuster benchmark, Diesel Labs found. The company – which specializes in analyzing a wealth of data for media and entertainment companies – looked at the “attention level” of films before they were launched.

Diesel Laboratories

Diesel Labs data found that social media buzz around the launch of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” is trending past last year’s benchmark levels.

Diesel Labs/www.diesellabs.com



Diesel Labs pulls data from major social and video platforms to gauge how social media is buzzing about these movies as their premiere draws closer, counting down the days until each one begins. The chart, generated on July 19, shows that each film had a spike in online conversations before its launch – but some had more traction than others.

Now, all eyes are on “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” which, prior to their Friday releases, were trailing above last summer’s benchmark amount of social media attention. Together, the distinctive films have embraced shared branding “Barbenheimer,” with several filmmakers planning a double feature to cram them both in this weekend.

“According to our estimates, we anticipate that more than 200,000 moviegoers in North America will enjoy an exciting same-day double feature of ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer,'” Michael O’Leary, president and CEO of the National Association of Theater Owners, said in a statement Wednesday, citing “excellent word of mouth” for both films.

With the social media activity surrounding the dueling openings suggesting audience enthusiasm, distributors Warner Bros. (“Barbie”) and Universal (“Oppenheimer”) to be present for good news.

Meanwhile, “Mission Impossible,” which showed the first July 12, pulled in roughly $80 million at the domestic box office in his first five days. The opening was “about average for an action thriller at this point in the series,” said David A. Gross of film consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research. by Variety.

International markets were looking good for Tom Cruise’s latest spy adventure, Gross added. Ticket sales are expected to continue to rise as the film heads into its second weekend, with domestic sales approaching $100 million.

One movie that tracked below last year’s attention span was “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” Diesel Labs found. Its box office performance was similarly very low. Although this latest Indy installment recently surpassed this $150 million at home and $308 million worldwide, it has broken even with its production budget and there is a long way to go before it becomes profitable.

A hit-or-miss year for movie openings, and the ongoing Hollywood strikes may not help the box office take off

This year, Marvel has Pixar’s “Elemental” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” both made by Disney. did badlyas did “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” and “The Flash” from Warner Bros.

Universal’s “Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken,” which opened June 30, received such a thoughtful response at the box office, earning an estimated $34 million worldwide, that it has already been quickly made available to streaming audiences at home.

Stronger performers included The movie Super Mario Bros. and Disney’s live-action remake of it “The Little Mermaid.” The first was released in April, and the second was released the following month.

Despite the hopeful signs of upcoming movie openings, another wild card has emerged in Hollywood that could complicate any box office turnaround: the SAG-AFTRA strike that began earlier this month, adding to the already-existing tensions over the Writers Guild of America work stoppage that began in May.

Under the strike rules of their respective unions, actors and writers are not allowed to promote projects. With actors protesting on the picket lines instead of the red carpet or sitting for live interviews on the morning shows, it’s unclear what the impact would be on ticket sales.

Now, Hollywood expects that this weekend will mark an explosive change with films like “Oppenheimer,” director Christopher Nolan look at the life of the scientist most closely associated with the creation of the atomic bomb. Box office pro Wednesday said the World War II period piece could open domestically anywhere from $52 million to $72 million.

But even with the potential buzz from director Greta Gerwig’s all-pink Barbie tribute to the world’s most iconic doll — it’s expected to open between $140 million and $175 million, according to Boxoffice Pro — it may be too soon to put on rose-colored glasses.

At the London premiere of “Oppenheimer” on July 13, actors including Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, and Rami Malek walked out early to show solidarity with their union. And, if their decision serves as any deterrent to what to expect during the rest of the summer season, our thermostats may yet be able to break more records than any movie at the box office.

This story was originally published on July 19 and has been updated.

Are you a Hollywood insider? Contact this reporter. Reed Alexander can be reached by email at ralexander@insider.com, or SMS/encrypted App Signal at (561) 247-5758.

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