In the second half of every year for the past 10, the grown-up audience has opened its eyes, stretched its legs and gone to the movies in numbers big enough to make a certified hit of at least one non-animated, not-too-scary, non-sequel drama.
If ascent to the year-end box office Top 15 is a fair though somewhat arbitrary measure of hit status, the giant — who rarely rises in the first half for anything but action, comedy and the occasional fright drama like Us or Get Out — has consistently delivered. But not on a reliable schedule.
Last year, A Star Is Born, released on October 5, and Bohemian Rhapsody, which followed on November 2, both made the Top 15 with help from that large, 40-and-older audience, which manages to account for about 42% of domestic ticket sales, despite its seasonal habits. The year before, only Dunkirk, released on July 21, made the cut.