Video: Avengers Endgame and the business of Hollywood

Sun 05 May 2019 11:10 AM GST
ABTV's Shruthi Nair reveals how much the new Avengers movie will contribute to Hollywood monetarily and explains the business of the film industry.

In the UAE alone, Avengers: Endgame movie earned AED6 million ($1.63 million) at the UAE box office on Thursday and a further AED8 million on Friday. Yes, it is “already guaranteed the biggest opening weekend” in the country.

Globally, analysts had predicted that it could make wait-for-it $800 million on the opening weekend.

Avengers: Infinity War (the prequel to Endgame) earned AED11,137,664 in its opening weekend in the UAE in May last year.

The Avengers franchise is definitely delivering very impressive box office results but if you think this is an exception and movies don’t usually gross this much, then you’re not exactly right.

Just in recent months movies like Mission: Impossible – Fallout (AED16,661,995), Skyscraper (AED16,617,294), Venom (AED17,056,479) and Captain Marvel (AED14,643,759) made crazy amounts of money too.

Infinity Wars is the 4th biggest selling movie to earn a total of $2,048,359,754, after Avatar, Titanic, and Star Wars (the force awakens).

But as with any industry, numbers can’t just be thrown around to gauge success. Because believe it or not, Hollywood hasn’t really had a great year so far.

As of April 21, the domestic box office has dropped a shocking 16.4% from the same point in 2018, according to figures from Comscore. It’s the steepest year-on-year decline since 2011. The main, straightforward reason is that they haven’t been able to produce as many hit films compared to last year.

But Avengers: End Game is definitely going to be great for the box office, at least in the short run.

Before the release of End Game, 2019 total domestic box office totalled about a little over $2.9 billion. Through the same date last year, it was $3.5 billion. Endgame could bring the box office drop from 16 to about 15 or at most 14% but is that good enough?

On one hand, this could be good for other movies as the millions of movie-goers who go to watch Endgame will be shown trailers of the other films. Basically, good promotion for them.

However, there are few problems too. Huge competition for other films in the genre. We saw that with Alita, Mortal Engine etc. Another problem is studios investing more of their budgets in the biggest films, means fewer films and more bad box-office weekends. This is bad for theatres too as theatres run all 365 days a year, irrespective of if any of the studios have movies coming out or not.

Also, studios and theatre chains have individual deals, but bigger-grossing films, like Avengers, mean studios receive a higher return on the gross. That means 15 films that gross $50 million each will make more money for theaters than one that grosses $750 million. And of course when a handful of films become essential, a distributor can demand even more.

So basically bigger studios like Disney have all the Infinity Stones for now. We just need to see if they it decides to snap their fingers or not.

(Source: Aranbianbusiness.com YouTube channel)