Can February’s Box Office Hit new Heights Without A ‘Black Panther’ or A ‘Deadpool’?TheWrap #Of_PreyFebruary 10, 2020
“Birds of Prey” and “Sonic” hope to improve on last February’s dismal movie ticket sales
February’s box office will see big tentpoles — particularly “Birds of Prey” and “Sonic the Hedgehog” — try to keep up with January’s brisk start.
Exhibitor Relations’ Jeff Bock predicts February 2020 will see much better numbers than last year, but that none of the films on the slate will do as well as “Black Panther” in 2018 or fellow February superhero release “Deadpool” two years earlier.
“Granted, this is a film with a $100 million or so budget, and it is tracking for a $50 million opening, so for the money Warner is spending on ‘Birds of Prey,’ it should be a success.
Those three films showed that studios can release a tentpole smash hit at any time of the year if they have the goods, but it’s still not clear if big February windfalls will be happening on a regular basis in this post-“Black Panther” world.
It was also the first February since 2013 that no film grossed more than $100 million, with “The Lego Movie 2” leading the charts with just $85 million.
“It’s no secret why Paramount is putting so much behind ‘Sonic’: Last year’s poor numbers show that they need franchises fast,” Bock said.
With these films, February 2020 won’t come anywhere near the calendar gross record of over $1 billion that “Black Panther” helped set two years ago.
But a performance at that level won’t provide much information on whether or not “Black Panther” and “Deadpool” were permanent game changers for February or simply outliers.
February 2021’s release slate already shows the potential to push the box office ceiling set by “Black Panther,” when Marvel returns with “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” a film with an all-Asian cast and crew that the Disney-based studio hopes will have the combined appeal of “Black Panther” and “Crazy Rich Asians.”
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