Though Groot and all things Guardians of the Galaxy charmed its way into the hearts of movie junkies nationwide this August (with good reason — I mean, dancing baby Groot, guys!) it looks like 2014’s summer films have just not cut it in terms of pulling in audiences. Ticket sales have not only seen a new low, but this has actually been the worst summer for movies since 1997, somehow. And that is definitely not a good sign for the film industry.
So, what's the problem? Films like How to Train Your Dragon 2, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and The Fault in Our Stars among a few others may have fared pretty well critically and scored popularity with moviegoers, but there wasn’t a single movie this summer that netted $300 million in ticket sales, according to The Huffington Post. Yes, there were some pretty big hits like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Godzilla, but even X-Men: Days of Future Past ended up with a total domestic gross of about $233.3 million. Sadly, this means that between the months of May and August, ticket sales in North America will amount to approximately $3.9 billion, which, according to The New York Times, is a 15 percent decline from last summer,
As for the 1997 comparison — just as 2014 films were well-received by critics but low in ticket sales, it seems '97 experienced the same phenomenon as well. Coming in at the top was Men in Black — we all know everyone loves this Will Smith classic! — and films like Air Force One, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Batman & Robin (the George Clooney version), and Hercules followed close behind at various spots, all ranking in the top 30 films of the summer in 1997, according to Box Office Guru. Men in Black grossed about $250.7 million domestically while The Lost World: Jurassic Park, which took second place, came in at about $229.1 million.
Guardians of the Galaxy on the other hand, which has ended up being this summer’s top movie, has currently sold about $258 million tickets so far. Though that's $8 million more in sales compared to MiB, it's still not that great when you compare it to previous summer movie years. Are moviegoers perhaps now seeking a change of pace from superhero movies every year? That's all I can think of, because they certainly couldn't be seeking a change of pace from baby Groot.
Anyway — always next summer, right?