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A Lack of Movies in 2024 Has the Box Office Poised To Lose Billions

The 2024 box office isn’t looking good. Due to a lack of major blockbuster movies next year, it is estimated the box office could lose billions.

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The box office already had a rough year in 2023. While some films like Barbie and Oppenheimer prevailed, there were multiple surprising box office flops from Disney, Marvel, and DC. Many factors played into the box office struggles, including franchise and superhero fatigue and the fact that theaters have been contending with streamers since the pandemic. However, another major factor in box office performance was the dual strikes from the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Writers Guild of America (WGA). Actors and writers were forced to strike over the summer because studios refused to adequately compensate them or protect their jobs from AI.

Since studios dragged their feet during negotiations, the actors’ strike didn’t conclude until November. During the months that the strikes lasted, multiple projects got delayed into the following year, including some that would’ve been major box office players, like Dune: Part Two. The strikes also impacted promotions and advertising for the films that did premiere, further driving down box office numbers. In total, it is estimated that the box office gross at the end of 2023 will be around $8.8 to $8.9 billion, despite earlier predictions that it would surpass $9 or even $10 billion. However, this disappointment pales in comparison to what might be in store for the 2024 box office.

2024 box office estimated to lose at least $1 billion

While the 2023 box office is very close to reaching $9 billion, according to a report by Deadline, the 2024 box office gross is estimated to top off at just around $8 billion. Hence, it’s expected to see a staggering loss of $1 billion, an 11% decrease. This is just an estimate, so the final results could be better—or they could be even worse. The problem with next year’s box office is actually quite simple: there just aren’t a whole lot of movies coming out.

While 2023 boasted 124 movies with wide releases, 2024 only has 107 lined up. There are going to be six weekends next year that completely lack major theatrical releases. The beginning of the year will be especially bare, with only 30 wide releases slated between January and April compared to the 44 wide releases in 2023. In addition to fewer movies, the fear of disinterest continues to build. Granted, there are a few major releases that could make up for the losses, especially with Deadpool 3, Joker: Folie à Deux, Dune: Part Two, Inside Out 2, and Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga on the horizon.

However, even without looking at the hard numbers, the lack of movies is fairly noticeable. While the MCU had three films premiere this year, Deadpool 3 will be the lone MCU film released in 2024. Similarly, after three releases this year, the DCU will release no films next year. Some of the most highly anticipated 2024 films, like Avatar 3 and Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, are no longer on the 2024 slate due to delays. If viewers can already feel the lack of films next year, the box office will surely feel it more significantly.

At the same time, responsibility for the anticipated losses will fall squarely on the studios. The lack of films next year is a direct result of the dual strikes this year. Even though the strikes concluded, Hollywood will be experiencing the aftershock for quite some time. The industry can’t just shut down for months and somehow still maintain its output and profits. It’s difficult to imagine that the studios didn’t foresee this issue, making it all the more frustrating that they allowed the strikes to go on for so long. Both moviegoers and the industry will feel the toll of the lack of movies next year, and it’s something that could’ve been avoided if Hollywood had simply fairly compensated its workers.

(featured image: Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.