Ever since the release of Steven Spielberg’s mega-hit, Jaws, summers have been viewed as an optimal time for studios to release their big budget films in the hopes of attracting the largest audience as possible, with a few notable exceptions like the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier in the spring of 2014 and the past couple installments in the Star Wars franchise being released in early winter.
This year, however, studios did not seem to have much luck when it came to the box office success of their tentpole films. The domestic box office for summer movies in 2017 is down sixteen percent from what it was at just a year ago. While international markets did help some films make more money than they otherwise would have, it is still hard to ignore the fact that the summer box office will remain under four billion dollars for the first time since 2006.
This weak season for films is infamously marked by such domestic flops as The Dark Tower, a condensed Stephen King adaptation starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, The Mummy, an attempt at launching a cinematic universe with Tom Cruise, and Transformers: The Last Night, which, when compared to its predecessors, failed miserably.
The summer was almost about to end with quite the whimper, too, with back-to-back weekends in which the top grossing hit of the weekend was the Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds buddy action film, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, which still managed to gross only a modest amount of money. But, the horror genre came to the rescue as the new remake for Stephen King’s classic story, IT, broke all sorts of records en route to becoming one of the biggest box office success stories of all-time.