With five major flops/disappointments in a row, the once on-fire banner box office year has cooled considerably. According to Box Office Mojo, the disappointing returns on “Men In Black 3,” combined with the tepid takes from recently released disappointments such as “Dark Shadows,” “The Dictator,” and “Battleship” — brought the weekend to its knees. 2011 was a notoriously awful year for Hollywood and yet this Memorial Day weekend was down a troubling 31% over last year’s.
The overall numbers for the year show that 2012 is still well ahead of last year, but not by as much as it was just six weeks ago. On April 15, the 2012 box office was 34% ahead of 2011’s box office on that same date:
April 15 of 2011: 1,736,231,904
April 15 of 2012: 2,332,911,914
Today, 2012’s box office is ahead by only 15.7%.
May 29 of 2011: 3,139,061,472
May 29 of 2012: 3,633,696,824
That’s a pretty big drop in just 45 days.
Though it’s safe to say the July 20 release of “The Dark Knight Rises” will blow the doors out, it’s impossible to tell by looking at the upcoming release schedule just how well some of these titles will and won’t do. Many planets would have to align against the studios to replicate 2011’s calamity. For instance, it’s hard to imagine a more disastrous Christmas box office season than the one we saw last year. But for the first time all year, Hollywood has reason to worry about 2012.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC