The cinema has had a very solid rebound year in 2023. Three out of the top five performing films in 2023 were not direct sequels, remakes, or a part of a larger film franchise. Barbie, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, and Oppenheimer showed that standalone films might be relied on more by studios as the recent phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been more uneven when it comes to generating revenue for Disney (NYSE:DIS).
On that note, The Marvels followed up its extremely disappointing opening weekend with a historically poor second weekend. The film suffered an 80% decline in box office revenues compared to its opening weekend. That came in as the studios’ worst second weekend drop of all time. It was also the worst for any Hollywood superhero movie.
The Hunger Games: The Ballard of Songbirds & Snakes debuted at a lukewarm $44 million in its opening weekend. This was the first release in the Hunger Games franchise since 2015. It demonstrated that demand may have cooled since the last release pulled in $102 million in its opening weekend.
Studios will be looking for the next Barbie or Oppenheimer in 2024 while also trying to squeeze as much profit as they can out of existing franchises. However, if the recent release of these two long-running franchises is any indication, audiences are hungry for a fresh approach in the post-pandemic era. The studios who have the post financial success in the mid-2020s will be able to scratch that itch.