May 6, 2022 - Economy

The summer blockbuster is back

Tom Cruise in "Top Gun: Maverick."

Tom Cruise in "Top Gun: Maverick." Photo: Paramount Pictures

Your summer may be packed with Hollywood blockbusters.

Why it matters: This could be the comeback season for movies, which have faced lagging box office numbers and an annihilated theater business since the start of the pandemic.

  • Streaming has become a dominant platform for watching new movies and television shows, taking people out of the theaters.
  • There's uncertainty among experts about movie theater audiences returning to pre-pandemic numbers, per AP.

Driving the news: With "Top Gun: Maverick," the new Minion film “Minions: Rise of Gru" and Jordan Peele's next project "Nope" all due out soon, movies could be back in full force for the summer.

  • Marvel's "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is opening this weekend and is pacing for a $150 million opening weekend in the United States, Deadline reports.
  • Marvel is a juggernaut when it comes to Hollywood blockbusters, currently owning four of the top 10 highest-grossing films of all time.

What they're saying: "Hollywood is looking to flex its muscle this summer and re-establish going to the movies as a key part of our everyday lives," Kendall Phillips, a pop culture professor at Syracuse University, told Axios.

  • "The studios have been storing up some of their biggest properties and it looks like they are all aiming to make a mark this summer," he said.
  • "Clearly, they are betting that Americans are ready to settle back into darkened theaters with tubs of popcorn."

But remember: Movies have been trending upward in the last half-year or so. Marvel's "Spider-Man: No Way Home" saw the third best opening of all time when it was released in December, and has already earned nearly $1.9 billion at the box office.

"The success of 'Everything, Everywhere, All at Once,' suggests that people may be open to going to theaters to see the kind of quirky, independent films that have mainly been available on streaming services during the pandemic," Phillips said

  • "So, it will be interesting to see whether comedies or period dramas will find box office success in between the big spectacle blockbusters."

What's next: Here are the new movies — a mix of franchise films and new concepts — expected this summer.

  • "Top Gun: Maverick" (May 27)
  • "Jurassic World: Dominion," (June 10)
  • "Thor: Love and Thunder" (July 8)
  • Jordan Peele's "Nope" (July 22)
  • "Elvis" (June 24)
  • Pixar's "Lightyear" (June 17)
  • "Minions: The Rise of Gru" (July 1)

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