With Spidey cracking $1B globally, the year ends with a box office blast — not with the exhibition’s demolition as doomsayers predicted.
Looking back, the movie title that best sums up the past year is the 1982 drama THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY. That’s really what 2021 was all about. Fortunately, the exhibition survived the studios’ misguided move into day & date streaming. It took many months for Hollywood to learn that streaming doesn’t deliver worldwide revenues like Sony/Marvel’s SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME (pictured) is generating theatrically right now.
By trying to make Wall Street’s new movie business model work, the studios shot themselves in the foot. Blinded by the idea of using event films to boost subscription revenues, they ignored the perils of putting pristine prints in pirates’ hands. They also discovered how streaming slashes ticket sales.
It’s poetic justice that Sony, the only big studio that hasn’t launched a streaming service, out-performed the Hollywood pack. Of the 4 films that did over $180M domestically this year, 2 are from Sony/Marvel — the new Spidey, #1 with over $405M & VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE, #3 with $212.5M.