Sony Pictures Is ‘Optimistic’ About Box Office Recovery: ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’ Is Going to Be ‘Just Fine’

Sony Pictures Entertainment’s senior management says it remains “optimistic” about the future of cinema, despite a slow start to the North American summer season and industry talk of franchise fatigue.

Speaking on a Sony Group Corporation conference call (on Thursday in Japan, Wednesday in Los Angeles), Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Tony Vinciquerra blamed current box office torpor on three prongs of disruption that have affected movie production over the past five years: competition with streaming; the disruptions and cost increases brought on by the COVID-era; and last year’s writers and actors strikes. Together these have led to fewer films reaching theaters.

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“What really is happening is that people got out of the habit of going into theaters. As the marketplace begins to recover in terms of having big films, you’ll see people start to go to theaters again,” said Vinciquerra. “The second half of this year, you’re going to see quite a resurgence. One film will improve the odds of the next film. Starting in July you’ll see every week a big film coming out.”

“Once we get back into the normal cadence of producing films, I think you’re going to see the comeback. We may not get back to pre-pandemic level. It is more difficult to produce a film that generates cultural action within the community but we’re pretty optimistic about the next couple of years,” he said. Consultancy firms such as Gower Street Analytics have forecast a slight year-on-year reduction in global box office in 2024.

Vinciquerra went on to identify some upcoming highlights, as he sees them. He said that the upcoming “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” film, the fourth in the Bad Boys franchise, is tracking strongly. “We’re pretty sure it is going to be just fine,” he said. He also said that SPE had raised its internal box office projections for “The Garfield Movie” in the last month and that the next “Spider-Man” movie “will do just terrific.” “Bad Boys: Ride of Die” begins its international release from June 5 and arrives in North American cinemas from June 7.

In a rebuttal of the superhero-fatigue argument, Vinciquerra ventured a rare comment about another studio’s content. He suggested that Disney’s Marvel franchise title “Deadpool & Wolverine” could be the first or second biggest film of the year.

More to come…

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