The Quorum

Where Are The $100M Openings? Don’t Worry, They’re About To Return.

Just how bad has the first half of 2024 been at the box office? So bad that not a single film has opened above $100M. Excluding the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, you’d have to go back a decade to 2014 to find a year with no $100M debuts through Memorial Day weekend.

Last year, three titles had reached the century mark by the end of May. ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA opened to $106M in February, THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE debuted to $146M in April, and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 launched with $120M in early May. In fact, it’s been almost a year since a film opened above $100M. The last film to do it was BARBIE back in July. 

Thankfully, that dry spell is about to end. DESPICABLE ME 4 stands a good chance of hitting $100M over the July 4th holiday, but the real box office behemoth looks to be DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE opening three weeks later on July 26th.

Not only is D&W tracking exceedingly well, but the key art campaign has been on point. We love the minimalist, angular, mustard and ketchup graphic posters. More importantly, so do the fans. 

D&W is the only film with three posters receiving fan grades of A- or higher. The last two had nearly identical A scores with the most recent one-sheet on the far right scoring a few decimal points higher than the two-hand teaser in the middle. 

As much as we love great artwork, it’s the tracking that is most impressive. As you can see below, awareness for D&W (dark yellow) dipped when the film’s title was announced earlier this year. Indeed, awareness was higher when the film used the working title of DEADPOOL 3. There was some confusion in the marketplace when the name switched to DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE, but as expected, awareness corrected itself as more people became familiar with the name.

Awareness has now climbed to 54%, which puts it on par with GUARDIANS (light yellow) and well ahead of ANT-MAN (brown) at the same distance from release.  

While awareness experienced a dip from the title change, interest has remained steady. Only once, for a brief moment, did it fall below 60%. At 64% (dark blue) D&W is ahead of GUARDIANS (light blue) and ANT-MAN (black) by a sizable margin. 

Just how big is 64% interest? Consider this: since 2022, only four films have had interest above 60% this far from release. Four of them—BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER, JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION, and AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER—opened above $100M. The fourth one, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4, scored the highest opened in the franchise with $74M.

We knew the first half of the year was going to be rough. We also knew that the first half of the summer was going to come in below last year’s numbers simply because THE FALL GUY was never going to match the $120M opening for GUARDIANS from last year.

Thanks to DESPICABLE and D&W, theatrical will likely have one or two $100M openers to help the summer end on a high note. And wouldn’t it be great to see D&W match or top the $162M opening for BARBIE from last July? Given the strong tracking and the fan affinity for the posters, it looks like it has a shot. 

2 thoughts on “Where Are The $100M Openings? Don’t Worry, They’re About To Return.

    1. Not quite. Take a look at the score at the same distance from release. Here’s how.

      1. Go the metal page for DM2:
      2. Click the blue button labelled “Date or “DBR”
      3. In the “Compare With” drop down, select INSIDE OUT 2

      This shows scores for the two films adjusted based on distance from release. You can see that DM4 is scoring quite a bit higher than IO2.

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