Movies returned in a big way in 2021 — here are the winners and losers – Yahoo Entertainment

December 22, 2021 by No Comments

A Quiet Place Part II, Godzilla vs. Kong, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Spider-man: No Way Home. (Photo: Everett Collection (3) / Warner Bros. (1))

With dozens of high-profile releases ready to roll after being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, vaccines widely available and at least a segment of moviegoers primed to return to the cineplex (some demographics more excited than others), the movie business attempted a Hollywood comeback in 2021.

Now, as the days tick down on another calendar year, we can ask the billion-dollar question: Did the movie business bounce back after lockdowns crippled the exhibition industry a year ago? The answer is a resounding “sort of.” There were legitimate blockbusters but there were also lots of caveats. After all, how do you judge the performance of high-profile releases from Warner Bros. or Disney when those titles are simultaneously released, respectively, on HBO Max and Disney+ home-streaming services? 

There’s no arguing the utter domination of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which swung above all expectations — pandemic or not — with a staggering $600 million worldwide opening. But more on that later.

Overall, it was a year defined by highs (superhero movies continuing to dominate) and lows (musicals getting muted no matter how good they are), bad news (the permanent closures of the West Coast’s much-loved Arclight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres chains) and good (the recent announcement that the Arclight’s crown jewel, Sunset Boulevard’s landmark Cinerama Dome, will be reopening).

“This has been an incredible year for movie theaters and one of the most important in its history in the wake of a disruptive 2020 that tested the allure of the movie theater to the limit,” says Comscore analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

Here are the major lessons we learned from the 2021 box office.

View of AMC movie theater in Times Square on Aug. 10, 2021. (Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Family fare suffered from the start.

The comeback plot stumbled out of the gate as a pair of family-minded releases, Warner Bros.’ Tom and Jerry ($45 million) and Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon ($54 million) only attracted small audiences to theaters (while concurrently racking up views on their respective streamers) in late February and early March. That would begin a trend in underperforming kid-friendly films, which could almost certainly be traced to the fact that coronavirus vaccines were not available for children under 12 until the fall.

While Disney’s Jungle Cruise (July 30) and Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Nov. 19) performed …….



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