Jan 6 2014, 7:14pm CST | by Forbes
With 2013 in the rear view mirror, it’s fair to say it was a great year for movies. Not only were there a plethora of really great films (12 Years a Slave, Gravity, American Hustle) but the domestic box office was the biggest yet. We spent almost $11 million at the theater last year, according to Box Office Mojo.
That was a slight uptick from 2012 but it looks like the box office won’t continue to grow in 2014. Media analyst Benjamin Mogil at investment firm Stifel predicts the box office will be down around 4% this year due to fewer blockbusters scheduled to hit theaters.
The biggest movies this year are likely to be sequels like The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the next Hunger Games and Hobbit films. But the lighter schedule could benefit some less obvious films. Fewer films on the schedule means each movie has a chance to keep earning for more weeks.
Lions Gates’ Divergent could turn out to be a big winner in 2014. Studios have struggled to find a young adult franchise that can succeed on the level of Twilight and Hunger Games. Beautiful Creatures, Mortal Instruments and Ender’s Game all failed to make the cut.
Many believe Divergent has a better chance. The film, which hits theaters in March, is already seeing a lot of buzz on social media. If the film is a hit, Lions Gate will have another profitable franchise on its hands. The studio is also behind Hunger Games.
The schedule could also benefit DreamWorks Animation. The studio had two movies in 2013, Turbo and The Croods, but has three films this year: Mr. Peabody and Sherman, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Home. Mogil says the movies will have five-, five- and nine-week windows, respectively, which should give each film plenty of time to rake in big bucks at the box office.
If there is a small lull in the box office this year, it should turn around in 2015. Huge movies like Fast & Furious 7, the next Star Wars film and the second Avengers movie are already slated for that year, which could make it harder for small films to shine.
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Source: Forbes Business
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