‘In­cred­i­bles’ sum­mer helps Hol­ly­wood turn­around with po­ten­tial for record year

Irish Independent - Business Week - - Front Page - BLOOMBERG

THE new en­try in the ‘In­cred­i­bles’ film se­ries is help­ing to make this sum­mer’s box-of­fice tally, well, pretty in­cred­i­ble.

Some Wall Street an­a­lysts who be­gan the year fore­cast­ing a drop from a dis­mal 2017 are now re­vis­ing their out­looks. Sur­prised by the draw of ‘Black Pan­ther’ plus the stel­lar per­for­mance of ‘In­cred­i­bles 2’, they say the US box of­fice could ac­tu­ally end the year up a few per­cent­age points. Fol­low­ing one of the worst US sum­mers on record last year, 2018 was ex­pected by some in­dus­try watch­ers to be equally gloomy – or worse. That was mainly be­cause of a lack of big movies in the sec­ond half, par­tic­u­larly with no new ‘Star Wars’ film. But with the first half de­liv­er­ing a cou­ple of record months, the out­look has im­proved.

“The bear-case the­sis that emerged last sum­mer was sim­ply in­cor­rect,” said AMC En­ter­tain­ment CEO Adam Aron“The over­all health of this in­dus­try is strong.”

Ris­ing ticket prices, up al­most 5pc on last year, ex­plain some of the op­ti­mism. A bet­ter-than-ex­pected 2018 would be a boost to Hol­ly­wood, which has strug­gled to adapt to chang­ing con­sumer habits and ris­ing com­pe­ti­tion from dig­i­tal stream­ers. Aron, who was pre­dict­ing an up­beat year back in April, now says sales will ex­ceed last year’s tally and have “a fight­ing shot to be the big­gest year do­mes­ti­cally in his­tory”. The an­nual record of $11.4bn was set in 2016. Year-to-date, the do­mes­tic box of­fice is up 8pc, while sum­mer sales are up 11pc, thanks to ‘In­cred­i­bles 2’. which has now topped the $1bn mark glob­ally.

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