Does 2018 Have Too Many Big Summer Blockbusters?

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: Universal)

Is anyone else thinking there’s too great a saturation of blockbusters this summer?

We’ve had “Avengers: Infinity War”, “Deadpool 2”, “Solo: A Star Wars Story”, “The Incredibles 2”, and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”, all pretty much back to back.

Each of these movies are significant for the large fanbase that have traditionally supported their various franchises, so dropping all these movies within a few short weeks seems like a bizarre decision.

Last year saw a paltry release schedule for big name franchises, and as a result, box office figures were pretty low across the board, leading some commenters to speculate that blockbuster fatigue might be setting in.

Infinity War
Source: Marvel

In spite of this, 2018’s various big name releases have led to tremendous box office takings more or less across the board. As it turns out, people only go to the movie theater when there’s something worth watching.

If all the big releases are stacked up in just two or three months, there’s nothing to stop people from going to the movies more often.

So here’s the question. Why is this year so filled with big releases?

So Many Movies

Some of this is timing related. Marvel has been building to “Infinity War” for a long time, and the studio’s biggest 2018 film is the culmination of a decade of work.

Others, like “Jurassic World 2” and “Deadpool 2”, have come as soon as possible based on the popularity of the first films in the series. Actor schedules and special effects work meant that these movies couldn’t possibly have been released last year, when the release schedule was far less cluttered with big hitters.

Solo a Star Wars Story

Then, there’s the movies like “Solo”, which released this summer mostly out of hubris on the part of the Walt Disney corporation.

It seems that the internal discussion surrounding this box office flop focuses the blame on the movie’s release window. This is unfair, as all the other successful films over the past few weeks have proven that if “Solo” had been a movie that people wanted, then audiences would have bothered to get up off their butts and head into theaters.

The only real problem with the success of 2018’s summer blockbuster period is that, by comparison, 2019 is looking a little threadbare.

Jurassic World Bryce Dallas Howard and Chriss Pratt
Source: Universal

A lot of big blockbuster franchises have now synced up their respective production cycles. We may see a few years of quiet now, before a future year – perhaps 2020 or 2021 – will again see everyone clawing for ticket sales during the same few weeks in summer.

The last time we saw such a busy release period was probably 2016, when “Captain America: Civil War”, “Batman v Superman”, and “Jurassic World” all fought for supremacy.

The Cycle Never Ends

This kind of thing isn’t exactly great for the movie industry as a whole. Nor is it ideal for moviegoers.

With so much money at stake, though, no movie studio is going to want to relinquish a top spot when this cycle brings the big releases into competition with each other.

Thus, we end up in an exhausting situation where huge blockbusters bump into each other every few years, when a more staggered release would be far more enjoyable for everyone involved.