Despite pessimistic forecasts for 2024, 2023 box office revenues topped $9 billion for the first time since 2019. This success is due to popular films and unexpected hits, but what does this mean for 2024 given the impact of the WGA and SAG AFTRA strikes?
Successful box office results 2023
2023's performance is due in large part to a number of summer hits, such as “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” but also to unexpected successes, such as “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour.” This mix of popular films, niche films and arthouse films has ensured that the 2023 US box office will surpass the US$9 billion mark for the first time since 2019.
Impact of WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes in 2024
Despite the success of 2023, the consequences of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes threaten 2024. Because of these strikes, many films have been postponed, leaving the release calendar for the first half of the year completely empty. The US box office is expected to generate a loss of $2 billion this year.
Despite these difficulties, 2023 has shown that audiences are more than willing to return to the cinema if they have the right motivation to do so. These do not have to be well-known sequels or IP addresses. The success of niche and arthouse films in 2023 shows that there is room for unique and original content in cinema.
What 2024 needs to be successful
What 2024 needs are some unexpected hits like 2023, including more great films imported from Europe. It needs more specialized programming. Both studios and theaters must find ways to maintain momentum even as fewer big new films debut later in the year.
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