Give Me Blockbusters or Give Me Death: Here’s What’s Really Behind the Box-Office Collapse

Give Me Blockbusters or Give Me Death: Here’s What’s Really Behind the Box-Office Collapse
Help is on the way this weekend. Although domestic theaters are down more than 7%, or about $430 million, compared to 2018, this weekend is “Toy Story 4,” which is expected to open to $150 million or more; two weeks later it’s another nine-figure opening with “Spider-Man: Far from Home,” followed by “The Lion King” and “Hobbs & Shaw.”

This is great news, but here’s the catch: Box office still has a problem — actually, several — and they have little to do with sequels.

Sequel problem? What sequel problem?

If you’re “Toy Story 4,” there’s no problem at all: Its history as one of the most beloved animated properties of all time is a feature, not a bug. But if you’re “Men in Black: International,” “Shaft,” “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” or “Dark Phoenix,” it’s a very different story. While these films were hits in their initial iterations, each of
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