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The best Italian summer ever

Thanks to the boost provided by Barbie and Shark 2 in the past week, the box office reaches numbers never seen before and even surpasses 2011, the previous record-breaking summer…

Let’s start with the infographic comparing the most significant summers that we have used in the past two and a half months:

The shocking thing is the recovery and overtaking of summer 2023 compared to 2011, which at one point seemed absolutely impossible. In fact, by the sixth week, the comparison saw 2011 ahead by a whopping 20 million (63,187,580 versus 43,771,750), which led me to say that there was no contest. I was wrong, however, as I hadn’t anticipated such a strong performance from Barbie (I had estimated 10-15 million, but not so powerful as it was). The rest of the summers considered are far behind, starting with 2019 (despite having many strong releases) which closed at 61.4M.

For completeness of information, let’s also look at the graph with all the summer results from 2006 onwards:

Now, it’s interesting to understand which titles have allowed this record. So let’s start with the top ten of this summer 2023:

And let’s compare it with the one from 2011:

However, 2023 fares better from the fourth place onwards. It is enough to say that this year we had two other titles above six million (Elemental and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, 12.6M in total), while in the same positions in 2011 we find Captain America – The First Avenger (5.9M) and The Hangover Part II (4.8M).

Substantial tie for sixth place (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Mission Impossible 7, both just below 5M) while from seventh place onwards, 2023 is favored again, thanks to the excellent performance of Meg 2, 4.2M. In general, in 2023 there are 13 titles above one million, in 2011 there were 17.

It may seem incongruous, but in reality it is simple: in 2023, many blockbusters have been released, practically all those available in the summer compared to the United States, while in 2011 there was a greater supply of medium products.

On the other hand, I have already emphasized: if many great movies are released in the summer, distributors cannot be asked (at least at this stage, where the aim is to get the audience used to going to the cinema massively in this season) to offer a wide range of other titles.

Needless to say, even on that occasion, there are no Italian titles in the top ten. In fact, the first Italian title in the ranking, from June 2nd to August 17th, 2023, was At The End of the Day – A Never-Ending Day (released on July 22nd), 33rd with 223,265 euros. Instead, the best Italian title in the summer of 2023 was Kidnapped with 1,237,575 euros, while if we want to look among the films released in these eleven weeks, we find Denti da squalo, 22nd with 249,609 euros. Very small progress indeed. In this regard, the issue of Italian and European cinema. Which, it was easy to predict, would not have an easy time even at 3.5 euros, especially against such a strong American offering.

These are the European titles released during the promotion period that performed better (or less worse, you decide):
The Curse of Queen Mary: 420,629 euros
Emily: 338,170 euros
Denti da squalo: 249,609 euros
I peggiori giorni: 226,628 euros
Un matrimonio mostruoso: 193,350 euros

I also included Denti da squalo, which was released three days before the start, but which took advantage of the promotion from its first Sunday. It is interesting that the first two box office hits are not Italian, but British.

Obviously, in September, with the release of some films from Venice, it can be assumed that there will be more successful titles (such as Io Capitano), but they probably would have worked in a very similar way even without the reduced price. It should be noted that, in this case, the budget allocated to the initiative should not have been fully spent, so let’s hope it goes towards more effective proposals in the coming months. In any case, it is obvious that, for next year, such a promotion can only be feasible in the face of truly strong titles, which, needless to say, did not exist this year, with the exception of the three days (weekdays) made by I peggiori giorni.

Last year, I said that some titles that were not released in day and date (like Minions 2 and Bullet Train) at least allowed for strong films from late August and September, while this year the only case of this kind is Oppenheimer (which seems to have been a great choice to move it by a month, we’ll see if the results confirm this impression), hoping then that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can repeat the excellent American result. Finally, let’s see how the distributors fared this summer.


Finally, let’s see how the distributors fared this summer.

and in comparison with 2022:

and the 2019:

Obviously, Warner takes advantage of Barbie’s triumph, but let’s not forget the excellent result of Meg 2. Walt Disney, on the other hand, is characterized by high-level continuity, considering three films (The Little Mermaid – which has reached a total of 12M – Elemental, and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny) that surpass 6M.

For Eagle, excellent data for Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (almost 6.5M), while Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (4.9M) maintains numbers similar to the previous episode. Certainly, the phrase “a summer like never before” also applies to American distributors, considering that Warner, Walt Disney, Eagle (which brings both Sony and Paramount titles to Italy), and Universal have collectively captured over 89% of the summer market…

Robert Bernocchi
E' stato Head of productions a Onemore Pictures e Data and Business Analyst at & BoxOffice.Ninja. In passato, responsabile marketing e acquisizioni presso Microcinema Distribuzione, marketing e acquisizioni presso MyMovies.
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