Summer ’15 was the 2nd best domestic box office summer EVER. Summer flicks begin on May 1st and finished on Labor Day (about 40% of the year). These films grossed $4.48 B in the US & Canada this summer. (An increase of 10.3% from summer ’14) Summer ’13 holds the summer record at $4.75 B. Disney (with 7 successes) and Universal (with 4 winners) carried the summer ’15 box office. Summer ’15 had $5 B potential to be a $5 B summer but a few films with high hopes, (Fantastic Four and Pixels), were “dogs” for dollars rather than darlings.

To break box office records virtually every movie must perform well for the very competitive summer box office. Jurassic World, Avengers 2, and Inside Out brought in top $$ and pushed this summer to its #2 all-time status. Straight Outta Compton (Aug’s #1 film) & Pitch Perfect 2 were low budget films that surprisingly (outta nowhere) did great box office bucks. Together, they made $400 M globally.

This summer’s box office was strange in many ways.

  • There was ONLY 4 movies that domestically boxed at least $190 M vs 9 last summer as both group of movies totaled about $1760 in revenue. The 2 tent pole movies of Sum 2015 drew $1 B+ in total revenue (Jurassic World ($640 M) & Avengers 2 ($457½ M)).
  • Universal was the top distributor this summer, releasing 11 flicks and accounting for roughly 34% of the Summer ’15 market share ($1.5 B domestically). Disney released 8 flicks which accounted for roughly 24% of ‘15s summer box office ($1.1 B domestically). Warner Brothers, the traditional box office leader, came in 3rd with 18
  • A comedy which features female stars; Pitch Perfect 2, Anna Kendrick & Rebel Wilson was #5 this summer with a $184 M Domestic Box and a puny production budget of $29 M.
  • The 3rd biggest box office flick of the summer was an extraordinary animated movie, Inside Out ($343 M) a movie about how feelings are formed. We guarantee that this movie will become a teaching classic by child psychologists.
  • 2 of the Top 5 of this Anomalous summer are animated films. That never happens. The aforementioned Inside Out and Minions at #4 ($322 M). This 91 min movie was about an hour too long for us. Minions here, minions there, minions everywhere!
  • Amazingly so, there were 2 TOP 5 movies which had Production Budgets of less than $100 M. They were Minions (Prod Budget = 74 M) & Pitch Perfect 2 (Prod. Budget = 29 M)
  • Adding to our anomaly checkmarks is the fact that this summer 9 of the TOP 25 are comedies. In 2014 there were 5 and in the box office record breaking summer of 2013 there were 6. Traditionally comedies don’t usually score well at the domestic box office (and they even do more dreadfully at the foreign box).
  • While our end of the summer movie Scope features and focuses ONLY on Domestic Box Office we note the growing China box office for US films (our flicks folks, OURS). In 2009 it was a big deal when Avatar did $209 M in China. In 2013 Iron Man 3 drew a China Box Office of $121 M. In 2014 Transformers 4 boxed $320 M in China (due to special arrangements and considerations). X-Men made $116.5 M with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes making $107 M. In 2015, Domestic Blocks in China, Jurassic World revenued $220 M in China and San Andreas hauled in $103 M. To this impressive list we MUST add Furious 7 (released in US on Apr 3rd but not in China till 5/17). It boxed a whopping $341 M in China, WOW!


About bernacmd

For over 24 years, University of Detroit Mercy Marketing Professor Michael Bernacchi, Ph.D., J.D, has produced "uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE", a newsletter discussing current "marketing and advertising¹s bends, trends & ends." A well-know fixture in Detroit and national media, UDM's marketing guru has made several appearances on CNN's "Talk Back Live," the Voice of America worldwide radio network (VOA), ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and on the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, TV Guide, the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, to name a few. At University of Detroit Mercy, he has taught courses in Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Communications, Research and Corporate Social Responsibility and Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Michael Bernacchi can be reached at 313-993-1116 or bernacmd@udmercy.edu. Please appropriately attribute the following for their work on uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE: Yen Ju Lee Robert Rouse Vidhyasagar Natarajan Eric Baumgardner & Ian Young
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