With Walt Disney’s strong Memorial Day opening of “The Little Mermaid,“ total domestic theatrical box-office movie business through five months of 2023 is now 27% higher than a year ago ($3.4 billion), according to Comscore.
The theatrical marketplace is down 25% versus 2019, when it took in $4.4 billion through May 2019, according to IMdB’s Box Office Mojo.
Analysts point to key movie business periods of high activity for the rest of the year -- the summer (which traditionally begins after Memorial Day) and the winter holiday period (starting up on Thanksgiving weekend).
Over the most recent weekend, “Mermaid” took in $117.5 million -- the fifth-highest Memorial Day weekend of all time. Last year, “Top Gun: Maverick” opened on Memorial Day slightly higher -- at $126.7 million.
This year, the second week of Universal’s “Fast X” put up another $28.6 million, and the fourth week of Disney’s “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3” came in at $26.3 million.
Disney’s entire national TV spend to date for “Mermaid” is at $22.5 million, with 4,930 airings pulling in 3.1 billion impressions, according to EDO Ad EnGage.
Overall, U.S. theatrical national TV advertising spend has grown 21% so far to $544.4 million versus 2022.
TV airings for movies are 17% higher to 116,390, amassing 63.4 billion impressions -- 14% more than a year ago.
The biggest movie-studio spenders through five months of 2023 included Universal Pictures at $113.7 million; Warner Bros. with $96.9 million; Walt Disney at $85.3 million; Paramount Pictures at $56.5 million; and Sony Pictures with $54.7 million.