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This summer's blockbusters are saving movie theaters

This summer's blockbusters are saving movie theaters

Maybe movie theaters aren’t going extinct, after all.

After last year’s miserable summer box-office returns â€" in which a 14-percent plunge sparked worries that Netflix might be taking a permanent bite out of America’s moviegoing habit â€" the industry has staged a Hollywood-style comeback.

Big-production mega-hits like Disney’s “Incredibles 2” have teamed up alongside surprise hits like “Crazy Rich Asians” and a Mr. Rogers documentary to rack up $4.1 billion in receipts â€" an unexpectedly strong, 13-percent surge, according to comScore.

“The movie theater is here to stay,” according to comScore’s senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian, who notes the latest numbers are on par with those of some of the highest-grossing summers of all time.

Through Aug. 22, receipts stood at $8.05 billion, up 8.8 percent over $7.4 billion this time last year, according to comScore.

Not surprisingly, Disney had three of the five biggest films this summer. No. 1 “Incredibles 2” scored $574 million in the US alone, while “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp” came in at No. 4 and No. 5 with $392.1 million and $211.5 million, respectively.

But superheroes weren’t the only characters in rescue mode.

After the “Oscars So White” campaign blasted Hollywood’s lack of diversity in 2016, Warner Bros’ “Crazy Rich Asians” is proving that responding to complaints can be profitable: The rom-com grossed an eye-popping $76 million in just 12 days, according to Box Office Mojo.

In a similar vein, “Oceans 8,” a sequel to “Oceans 11,” with an all-female cast, has racked up $138 million since its June debut. And Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” which depicts the true story of a black detective who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s, grossed $26 million in its first two wee ks.

The Mouse House was the biggest and earliest beneficiary of the diversity trend with the February release of “Black Panther,” which has amassed a stunning gross of more than $700 million.

Documentaries have made for another unexpected bright spot this summer. “Three Identical Strangers,” the Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary “RBG” and the Mr. Rogers documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” all grossed more than $10 million each, with the latter pulling in $22 million.

“People don’t just live for lighthearted fare,” comScore’s Dergarabedian noted, pointing to changing viewing habits sparked by Netflix and other home video-streaming services. “There is no season. Moviegoers are looking for fresh content with interesting points of view.”

Other notable successes include ‘The Meg,” Warner Bros.’ big-budget shark-attack movie starring Jason Statham, has pulled in $105.3 million this summer, Paramount’s “Mission: Impossib le â€" Fallout” kicked in $193.9 million since it opened in late July, and Universal sequel, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Cher, has accumulated $115.3 million since its July opening.

Source: Google News Movie

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