As our much-loved cinema experience in a COVID world reignites, cinemas are bracing for an influx of returning customers over coming months thanks to some blockbuster films – the expectation being they will be their financial salvation.
We look at five blockbusters hitting cinema screens in Australia over the remainder of 2021 and into 2022, the hope being they will bring back traffic. We all have our fingers crossed the coffers will fill to the brim.
Major movie houses, including the 480 independent cinemas still operating, have secured their blockbusters and local content, dusted off their padded seats, prepped the popcorn machines and, most important, hired staff.
Yes, the doors are opening.
A Quiet Place II, Fast and Furious 9, Top Gun Maverick, Venom 2 and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings are just five hits which could drive significant traffic back to cinemas, especially as restrictions on numbers and social distancing eases
If the US is anything to go by, analysis by CNBC suggests American movie theatre chain AMC is already making “bold moves”, with niche deals for struggling cinema companies while setting its sights on doing as much as it can to attract people to big-screen movies.
“In back-to-back weekends, the domestic box office has lured moviegoers with a wide range of film titles, setting ticket-sales records during the pandemic era,” CNBC reported this week.
BoxOffice.com analyst Shawn Robbins told the network: “Everything comes down to content.”
“There may be a short-term burst driven by pent-up demand, but audiences and theatres need more than one tent pole per month,” Mr Robbins said.
“The build back to normal box office levels will take more and more consistent releases from major studios, something we’ll have a chance to see develop this summer, and hopefully build momentum deep into the second half of the year.
“2022 has a robust slate of films that could easily break records once this year has done the necessary legwork of recovery.”
In already promising signs in the US, over just one day, May 31, of the Memorial Day long weekend alone, horror action flick A Quiet Place II took in $US57.7m ($73m). By way of comparison, the original 2018 movie collected $US50m ($64m) over the same long weekend and grossed $340m ($438m) worldwide.
A Quiet Place Part II
Viewers who have already ventured to the big screen describe post-apocalyptic alien thriller A Quiet Place II as “hands down one of the best sequels” they’ve seen.
As a suggestion, though, it’s worth watching the first movie to understand what the Abbott family (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe) must now face as they venture into the outside world to fight for survival in silence.
“They quickly realise that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path. This is a must-see on the big screen!” spruiks Event Cinemas on their website.
Currently showing in mainstream cinemas.
Fast and Furious 9
It’s all about family … oh and illegal street racing, spies, lots of shooting and carnage, and who doesn’t love a car chase on the ice.
Come on, remember when Roman drove a Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 in The Fate of the Furious in a race to stop a nuclear submarine escaping and destroying the planet? If the previous action-packed movies in this billion-dollar franchise are any indication, this instalment, again featuring Vin Diesel as Dom Toretto, is sure to get the adrenaline going. It’s all about saving the world again.
Cinema releases start June 17.
Tom Hardy returns as Eddie Brock and his hungry alter-ego alien that somehow lives inside his body. Not for the faint-hearted, and the trailer gives you just a hint of what’s in store. When Brady is on the screen, he’s really quite endearing and measured.
Speaking to entertainment website IGN, director Andy Serkis said: “They [Brock and the alien] are now what is, in effect, the Odd Couple stage of their relationship. They’ve been together for … a year and a half, say, since the last story. And they’re figuring out how to be with each other. And it’s like living with this maniac toddler.”
Release date September 2021.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Let’s not forget a cleverly made martial arts film can also make huge box-office sales. And this one is definitely among contenders.
This Marvel Studios super-hero flick has what it takes to keep you invested in decent law enforcement agencies around the world.
Release date September 2021.
Top Gun Maverick
Suffering multiple release date delays due to the global pandemic, DigitalSpy.com tells us the release date for Top Gun Maverick is November this year.
Just a few weeks out from Christmas. Perfect. The trailer was first shown at ComicCon in 2019, so yes, “the need for speed” is definitely echoing around the fanbase.
Don’t get me started on the 1986 best one-liners. Director Joseph Kosinski says Mav and his rival Iceman’s relationship is rekindled: “The rivalry and relationship between Iceman and Maverick is one of those things that makes that first film so iconic.”
“It’s a relationship that is important to the Top Gun franchise, and as a fan I would want to see how it’s evolved,” Kosinski told DigitalSpy last month.
Great balls of fire!