Not streaming, nor strikes, nor shell shock from the pandemic kept this July’s domestic box office down with studio tentpoles and a faith-based surprise movie racking up the second-best record for the month with $1.37 billion per Comscore.
Warner Bros’ Barbie and Universal’s Oppenheimer were the No. 1 and 2 movies with $366.4M and $181.4M respectively.
The record July still belongs to 2011 which cashed in $1.39 billion. Get this, Warners also led that month as well with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 which made $318.5M of its $381M gross during July back then.
This July was so great, it was +20% over last July’s $1.14 billion and +6% from pre-pandemic 2019 which minted $1.29 billion.
“July was incredible for people who love going to the movies in cinemas with friends and family,” said NATO’s President and CEO Michael O’Leary in statement.
“This month now ranks as one of the top-performing Julys in the history of motion pictures,” he continued, “Consumer enthusiasm and excitement continues to grow as our partners in the creative community and at the studios continue to release a steady stream of compelling and entertaining movies across multiple genres, while theater owners take showmanship to the next level.
As we also told you, this past weekend’s domestic haul of $217M for all movies was a record for the final session of July.
“This past weekend is also further evidence that the economic impact of high-quality movies cannot be measured simply by the opening weekend box office,” O’Leary added.
“Most importantly, July highlights the special bond between the American public and movie theatres and the unique cultural moments they create that cannot be replicated elsewhere,” said the new NATO Boss.
Shaping out the rest of the top ten pics of July for the period of July 1-31: 3.) Angel Studios’ relentless Sound of Freedom ($151.3M), 4) Disney/Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny ($143.9M), 5) Paramount/Skydance’s Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One ($140.4M), 6) Sony/Blumhouse’s Insidious: The Red Door ($78.5M), 7) Disney/Pixar’s Elemental ($64.6M), 8) Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse ($47.1), 9) Disney’s Haunted Mansion ($26.4M) and 10) Sony’s No Hard Feelings ($26.1M).
With the SAG-AFTRA strike already pushing big movies like Kraven the Hunter, Challengers and the next Ghostbusters out of 2023, and exhibition fearing a downturn at the B.O. come October should the actors’ sit-out continue, the guild’s National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland told Deadline yesterday that despite that harsh impact, “we have to take a strong line.”
While a supporter of exhibition, Crabtree-Ireland acknowledged that the sector is “obviously very challenged” however “we can’t allow theatrical exhibition to become a way that the studios are sort of fueling their businesses during our strike.”