The summer of 2014 is shaping up to be a major dud for the blockbuster movie season. After a disappointing Fourth of July weekend, overall summer box office revenue is now down by more than 19 percent from last year, according to the Hollywood Reporter. And about that Fourth of July weekend, it fizzled like a firecracker in a puddle, with total weekend box office revenue down by nearly $100 million, or 44 percent, from the July 4th weekend last year. Among the disappointments, the Melissa McCarthy comedy Tammy, which opened with just $32 million this past weekend. And the blockbuster The Amazing Spider Man 2, which opened back in May, grossed less than half of last year's Iron Man 3.
Fox Entertainment reporter Michelle Pollino says there are several factors that have driven this year's poor showing at movie theaters. First, there has been no blockbuster animated Pixar film, like last year's Despicable Me 2. "This is the first time since 2005 the (Pixar) studio does not have a new feature in theaters, and except for Dreamworks' How to Train Your Dragon 2, there has been no big animated features," says Pollino. She tells KTRH that another major factor in the weak Fourth of July numbers this year was the opening of the new Transformers film just a week earlier. "If you look at the box office since the original Transformers, those films have dominated the box office, and nobody wanted to compete."
Indeed, Transformers: Age of Extinction is already looking like one of the true hits of the summer, along with X-Men: Days of Future Past. But overall, audiences seem to be tiring of the constant sequels being churned out. "The studios are running scared and they're just doing rehashes....Spider Man, Superman," says Pollino. Nevertheless, the season is only half over and all is not yet lost for the summer of 2014. "We need a couple of great movies to take us out of the summer," says Pollino. "And that's what Hollywood studios are looking at right now, with Guardians of theGalaxy (opens Aug. 1) and the new Planet of the Apes film" (opens July 18.)