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Film 2020: Something For Everyone’s Tastes

The coming year will be an interesting one for Hollywood, according to one industry insider. Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with ComScore Inc., said that a lot of talk about 2020 focuses on the lack of new franchise films or sequels compared to last year. Still, distributing a sequel is not the guarantee of box office success that it once was, he added. Last year, films from the “Charlie’s Angels” and “Terminator” franchises didn’t live up to expectations, while original films – “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” “Knives Out” and “Parasite” – among them, or ones that had a fresh take on a concept, such as “Joker,” all did well, he said. “In 2020, the fact that we don’t have as many obvious blockbusters on the slate, that may be a good thing,” Dergarabedian explained. “Because obvious blockbusters on paper don’t always deliver at the box office like we expect.” The just completed year will go down as being one in which the domestic box office dropped by nearly 5 percent compared to 2018. But it was up 2 percent when compared with 2017. The global box office of $42.5 billion, according to ComScore, was a record, however. And internationally, non-U.S. theaters took in $31.1 billion, another record, the media and analytics company reported. Eight films went over the $1 billion mark, which included six from Walt Disney Co., among them “Avengers: Endgame,” “Lion King” and “Frozen 2.” The Burbank entertainment and media giant has a potential seventh $1 billion film in “Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker,” although reaching that milestone will occur this year. The film was released Dec. 20. Disney’s lineup for 2020, however, does not include a “Star Wars” movie but does have two Marvel Studios films,” Black Widow,” which kicks off the summer movie season in May; and “The Eternals,” with Angelina Jolie, coming in November. Dergarebedian was of the opinion that the Marvel films will be huge for Disney, as will the live-action “Mulan” in March; “Soul,” the latest offering from Pixar in June; and “Jungle Cruise,” a film based on the Disneyland ride with Dwayne Johnson in July. “Disney has a great lineup for 2020, there is no question,” he added. “There are some billion-dollar movies in there and again it is trying to live up to 2019. It was just insane how big a year they had.” Unlike last year, when Disney dominated the movie going-experience, this year should be more evenly distributed among all the studios, Dergarabedian said. “It is going to be a land of opportunity and (the other studios) won’t have to be looking for as many holes in the calendar to bob and weave around Disney,” he said “Disney is still going to be a factor, but it’s going to be good for everyone. It just means that every studio will have an important film in the marketplace and make their presence felt in the movie theater. That is good for business.” Warner Bros. Entertainment, also in Burbank, will have a lot to offer, with “Wonder Woman 1984;” “Tenet,” from acclaimed director Christopher Nolan; “Dune” and “Godzilla Vs. Kong” in November. “Hopefully, the new Godzilla will do better in North America than the last Godzilla movie,” Dergarabedian said. “Those tend to be more of an international and global play. Certainly, a big movie globally if not as big in North America.” “Godzilla: King of Monsters,” released in May, brought in $111 million in domestic box office as compared to $275 million from international theaters. Universal Pictures, a part of NBCUniversal in Universal City, has a diversified slate of films for this year that doesn’t rely on one type of film or a franchise, Dergarabedian continued. Among the titles being released are “Dolittle,” starring Robert Downey Jr. in January; “The Invisible Man,” in February; an untitled film from Blumhouse Productions in March; the ninth installment in the “Fast & Furious” franchise; an animated Minions film; and “Halloween Kills,” the latest in that horror series franchise. “The fact they have animation, horror and franchise films, Universal is poised for a great 2020, because, again, they are not in one category,” Dergarabedian added. “Universal will have hits in every genre.”

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