If we're talking quality, the 2017 film slate was stacked. It, Get Out, The Last Jedi, Lady Bird, Coco, and numerous others garnered effusive praise from critics and audiences alike. Many of those must-see awards contenders, including It and Get Out, also exceeded their box office projections by commendably massive margins. But thanks to an overall abysmal summer season, the U.S. box office ultimately closed out 2017 with some less-than-impressive numbers.
The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) announced Thursday that U.S. movie admissions dropped six percent in 2017 to 1.24 billion, Variety reported. That's the lowest haul since 1995. The drop, NATO said in a statement, can largely be attributed to "a disappointing summer" full of sequels that "were not embraced by audiences" as positively as similar releases have been in the past.
NATO added that the fourth quarter of the year fared similarly as the same period in 2016, further solidifying that a largely weak summer (save for undeniable hits like Wonder Woman) ruined 2017 for everyone.
So what, exactly, can studios take away from these figures? Maybe spend future summers concentrating less on duds like Transformers 14 or The Mummy Returns for More Returning or whatever, and more time trying to recreate the success of something like Get Out. Though Jordan Peele's directorial debut actually dropped in January, months removed from the summer of god-awful sequels, the film's shrewd approach—i.e. a modest budget that helped it become the most profitable movie of the year—ultimately gave Universal and Blumhouse one of the most inspiring film success stories in recent memory.