2020 was as close to a total write-off for the theatrical industry as you could get. Christopher Nolan bullishly demanded that Tenet play exclusively in cinemas around the world, and while a $363 million haul was impressive by the dismal standards of last summer, the $200 million blockbuster still posted a hefty loss.
It was dire to put it lightly, and while we remain a long way away from reaching the light at the end of the tunnel, there’s hope that we could get there sooner rather than later. As per Deadline, this summer’s box office takings are up 893% compared to last year, but still nowhere near the levels they used to be.
Movies like Godzilla vs. Kong, A Quiet Place Part II, Black Widow, Fast & Furious 9, Jungle Cruise, Free Guy and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings have all pulled in strong numbers by the standards of the pandemic era, but there aren’t too many titles left on the 2021 release calendar that have the potential to hit similar heights, besides notable exceptions Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Spider-Man: No Way Home and Eternals.
For a more sobering statistic, nine films released in 2019 managed to earn at least a billion dollars globally. Since then, Fast & Furious 9 is the only American-backed studio effort that’s managed to hit $500 million, with the latest outing for Dominic Toretto and the crew sitting on an impressive $710 million. We’re not out of the woods yet, but the signs are promising.