You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

July heat lacks legs

'X' helps Fox top mixed month

At the box office, July felt a lot like March: in like a lion and out like a lamb.

On the strength of “X-Men,” which has rolled up $122.9 million to date, Fox claimed the month’s market-share race. Studio posted its best month in at least a year, collecting $201.2 million, or 19.6% of the $1.024 billion overall pot.

Warner Bros. thrived on top July title “The Perfect Storm,” which is steaming toward an eventual $190 million. Pic’s $158.1 million month made WB a close second to Fox with 19.1% of the market.

The industry tally set a record for July, rising 7% over last year’s level, but B.O. watchers were hardly celebrating, their enthusiasm having cooled last weekend when Universal’s “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps” had a strong bow, but receipts fell 16% from the year-ago frame.

‘X’ marks spotty B.O.

While it certainly rescued Fox from the commercial doldrums, “X-Men” also typified the slackening of the B.O. over the last 10 days of July. After opening with a stunning $54.5 million, “X” retreated by more than 50% in two successive weekends.

Year-to-date, total B.O. is about 4% ahead of the 1999 pace. Three months ago, it was 10% ahead.

The critical May-August span typically generates at least 40% of all distribs’ yearly grosses. In the past five years, for example, Fox has recorded 57% of its annual gross in the summer.

Summer has now slipped 1% behind 1999’s pace, and nothing on the August slate seems a likely tonic.

Last year’s run

Powerful B.O. binges in May, June and August last summer helped the overall gate set a record for the Memorial Day-Labor Day period: $3.2 billion.

In order for 2000 to approach last year’s muscle, some late-summer pic will have to pull off quite a surprise. The prototype for a such a feat is Miramax’s bargain-priced “Scary Movie,” which rose from spring obscurity to become the second-highest grosser in July, with $132.1 million.

Spoof not only drove the mini-major to a fourth-place showing, but offered fellow distribs some much-needed optimism that hits still do come from left field.

More Film

  • ABA_062_DAU_0060_v0409.87501 – Rosa Salazar stars as

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel' Wins Dismal President's Day Weekend

    Fox’s sci-fi adventure “Alita: Battle Angel” dominated in North America, but its opening weekend win isn’t leaving the box office with much to celebrate. Tracking services estimate that this will be one of the lowest grossing President’s Day weekends in years. Ticket sales are on pace to be the smallest bounty for the holiday frame [...]

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Oscars Placeholder

    Make-Up and Hair Stylist Guild Applauds Academy's Stance on Airing Every Oscar Winner

    Rowdy boos were followed by triumphant cheers at the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards on Saturday in Los Angeles, as the Hollywood union touched on a week of controversy over a reversed decision to hand out four Oscars during the show’s commercial breaks. Hair and makeup was one of the four categories that would [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Bette Midler

    Bette Midler to Perform on the Oscars (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bette Midler will perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” at the Oscar ceremonies on Feb. 24, Variety has learned. Midler, a longtime friend of composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman, will sing the song originally performed by Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns.” The song, by Shaiman and his lyricist partner Scott Wittman, is one of five [...]

  • Olmo Teodoro Cuaron, Alfonso Cuaron and

    Alfonso Cuarón Tells Why His Scoreless 'Roma' Prompted an 'Inspired' Companion Album

    Back around the ‘90s, “music inspired by the film” albums got a bad name, as buyers tired of collections full of random recordings that clearly were inspired by nothing but the desire to use movie branding to launch a hit song. But Alfonso Cuarón, the director of “Roma,” is determined to find some artistic validity [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content