Oscar Season Beware: Adult-Minded Movies Are Dying at the Box Office

One look at the weekend’s box office, and you’d think we’re back to the pre-pandemic “normal.”

Venom: Carnage!It earned $90 million in its first weekend. This is the same amount that most superhero movies generate in modern times. That’s despite mediocre reviews and a very mediocre origin story.

Take a closer look.

Consider the adult-minded films in the market place and how they’re faring. It’s ugly out there.

  •     Sing Macho$39.1 Million, Three Weeks
  •     Dear Evan Hansen(for $111.8, 2 weeks)
  •     Newark: The Many Saints$5 million for one week
  •     Tammy Faye’s Eyes$32.1 Million, Three Weeks
  •     The card counterLimited release $2.6million, for four weeks

That doesn’t take into account previous adult-minded flops like In the Heights ($29 million) and “Respect” ($24 million), titles with massive pre-release buzz. Boxofficemojo.com figures.

If you take each one of these numbers, they are very bad. As a group? It’s clear mature audience members are staying home these days.

You can’t blame them.

They’ve been streaming new content for the past year, titles that typically appear in theaters but now pop up on their apps and VOD platforms. The cost of seeing them is much lower than going to the theater.

Plus, the corrupt news media continues to overhype COVID-19’s threat, playing down ways to fend against it (weight loss, healthy living, immune-boosting supplements) and ratcheting up fear tactics at every turn.



The films still crushing it in theaters – think No cost to the Guy Jungle CruiseGet it now Venom: There should be carnageThey are targeted at young audiences. They’re eager to get out now that many pandemic restrictions have lifted. They’re also the most able to shrug off COVID-19 should it hit close to home.

Of course, you can’t discount the fact that HBO Max is streaming some titles, like Sing Macho SaintsFor subscribers,

It matters.

It shouldn’t explain how other films are bombing in theaters, or how movies that similarly bowed simultaneously at home fared better. Think “Jungle Cruise” (again).

What does all this translate to for Oscar Season? Officially, it is here. It will heat up in the next weeks as the following titles arrive at theaters.

  •     Spencer
  •     C’mon, C’mon
  •     Mass
  •     Last Night at Soho
  •     Dune
  •     House of Gucci

It’s not good, not at all.

Oscar voters don’t count every box office receipt when calculating their choices. These numbers hold some weight, particularly when it comes titles that can use all the momentum they have to stand out from the rest.

Here’s betting the Oscar-bait releases will struggle to make serious coin at the box office. This means that less people will be interested in the winner of those golden statuettes next season.

The Oscar ratings that are falling nightly could be even lower.

[Cross-posted from Hollywood in Toto]

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