The end of 'traditional' blockbuster season?

mclay18

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I searched for a similar topic, but couldn't find it. With prime summer blockbuster dates being booked years in advance, studios have gradually experimented with early spring and fall to varied results. And with the right film, it paid dividends outside summer and holiday seasons. With their rivals catching on, we're seeing more big films open earlier.

I know summer is still a prime moviegoing season, what with kids being out, but with studios spreading films around the year -- rather than concentrating on a spot in the May - August window -- there's more breathing room.

Thanks to WB, Disney and Universal jumpstarting the 'spring blockbuster' model -- we're now seeing more 'summer' films open in spring. (And if you have the right film opening in February or October, that can be pretty lucrative too.) The below list is a partial roundup of pics that have done well outside summer.

The Lego Movie - February 7, 2014 - $468M worldwide
300 - March 9, 2007 - $456M WW
Alice in Wonderland - March 5, 2010 - $1B WW
300: Rise of an Empire - March 7, 2014 - $337M WW
The Hunger Games - March 23, 2012 - $691M WW
Oz: The Great & Powerful - March 8, 2013 - $493M WW
Fast & Furious - April 3, 2009 - $363M WW
Clash of the Titans - April 2, 2010 - $493M WW
Fast Five - April 29, 2011 - $626M WW
Captain America: The Winter Soldier - April 4, 2014 - $714M WW
Gravity - October 4, 2013 - $716M WW

And now WB is releasing their biggest film -- Batman v. Superman -- in the Hunger Games spot for 2016. And half of their DC lineup have spring dates as well as a mix of regular summer and holiday dates.

Fox even has two Marvel films currently scheduled for February and October 2016 -- Deadpool and Gambit -- in addition to X-Men: Apocalypse on Memorial Day weekend.

What do you guys think of the 'traditional' blockbuster season going away?
 
I'm fine with it. Big-scale blockbusters spread out evenly over the entire year? Give me that.
 
Agreed. As long as the box office takes don't take hits I don't mind blockbusters being released in non summer months.
 
Now we can add Fifty Shades of Grey to the ever-growing pile of off-season blockbusters.
 
I'm more than okay with it. This can all be pinpointed back to one movie, and that's 300. It showed studios that films can be successful with a March opening date, even if they're rated R.
 
February-April is no longer a dumping ground and January is starting to seep in. Soon it'll be cool to release a movie at any point during the year. The thing is during summer they expect these things to make like five times their budget.
 
You couldn't say this back in the day, but right now you could drop a Marvel movie in September and it would make bank.
 
In the 'old days' when I was young in the 1980's, the cinema trip was a 'treat' designed for summer & christmas releases, now as people are saying, every week is 'blockbuster' week, there is no tradition left.
 
In the 'old days' when I was young in the 1980's, the cinema trip was a 'treat' designed for summer & christmas releases, now as people are saying, every week is 'blockbuster' week, there is no tradition left.

The summer season will continue to be a hugely popular one to release movies in, but it's not the end-all, be-all for where blockbusters should play. Summer 2013 was a bloodbath because there was too many options, and a lot of them slipped through the cracks.

People will want to see a movie that appeals to them regardless when it's coming out, and studios have good reason for spreading them out. WB may have started the trend, but Disney and Universal solidified it.

What's wrong with wanting to see a big sequel in January or April?
 
The summer season will continue to be a hugely popular one to release movies in, but it's not the end-all, be-all for where blockbusters should play. Summer 2013 was a bloodbath because there was too many options, and a lot of them slipped through the cracks.

People will want to see a movie that appeals to them regardless when it's coming out, and studios have good reason for spreading them out. WB may have started the trend, but Disney and Universal solidified it.

What's wrong with wanting to see a big sequel in January or April?

Nothing at all, if it spreads the films for all, that's a good thing, all I was saying (and maybe not clearly enough) was that the 'magic' and feel of the summer trip to the cinema has gone. People go more reguarly now as is being indicated throughout the year, when I was a child, it was a major event to go see a film at the cinema.
 
Nothing at all, if it spreads the films for all, that's a good thing, all I was saying (and maybe not clearly enough) was that the 'magic' and feel of the summer trip to the cinema has gone. People go more reguarly now as is being indicated throughout the year, when I was a child, it was a major event to go see a film at the cinema.

That's nostalgia for ya.
 
After American Sniper debuted to over $90m in wide release in January only Sept. is the last vestige of true downtime at the box office. Sure, Oct. also doesn't have any super-big openers but it has Gravity which made up for in legs what it lacked in opening weekend splash($55m) to be a huge blockbuster. Sept. is the only one without a huge blockbuster($200m + on domestic alone). Hotel Transylvania is it's top OW with $42m and Crocodile Dundee from way back in 1986 is it's top release overall with a $176m DOM gross. HT is it's biggest hit in more than a generation with only $148m DOM. Clearly this is the remaining armpit of the year, box office wise.
 
You couldn't say this back in the day, but right now you could drop a Marvel movie in September and it would make bank.

Oh, imagine the box office analysts' fervor over that.

I think Fox was onto something when they opened the first Maze Runner in September. The sequel is going to have a massive uptick on opening weekend, and easily break the o.w. record for that month.
 
Marvel did this.

How so? I know they released movies like Daredevil and Ghost Rider in February, but those were only modest successes compared to movies like 300 or Alice in Wonderland.
 
How so? I know they released movies like Daredevil and Ghost Rider in February, but those were only modest successes compared to movies like 300 or Alice in Wonderland.

Why are we lumping in Marvel Studios in with the likes of Daredevil and Ghost Rider? They were produced by Fox and Sony before the rights reverted, the Marvel execs like Feige had no hand in those.
 
How so? I know they released movies like Daredevil and Ghost Rider in February, but those were only modest successes compared to movies like 300 or Alice in Wonderland.

That was a joke.
 
Why are we lumping in Marvel Studios in with the likes of Daredevil and Ghost Rider? They were produced by Fox and Sony before the rights reverted, the Marvel execs like Feige had no hand in those.

I meant Marvel films in general. During the dark times.

That was a joke.

Ah. Well then.

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Now we can add Fifty Shades of Grey to the ever-growing pile of off-season blockbusters.


2015 is shaping up to be a banner year with AS, 50SoG, Tak3n, SpongeBob2 and Kingsman all opening to the $40m or more range and we're not even to March yet. Whatever mount 2014 was down(I heard 5% over all) 2015 should correct that and then some.
 
Looking at last year's Edge of Tomorrow... that could've cleaned up had that stayed in March 2014, rather than June 6. It had decent legs and a decent international run.

I think it could've made more in the spring, due to the weaker fare like Need for Speed, Muppets Most Wanted and Divergent. But opening against Fault in Our Stars... just took the wind out of it.
 
I've been saying it for years. The release date is irrelevant if the movie is good. About bloody time hollywood caught on.
 

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