Hollywood had its share of solid hits—like Marvel's "Captain America," which grossed $258 million in the U.S. and $713 million worldwide, and Fox's "X-Men," which brought in $231 million in the U.S. But there simply wasn't a *mega* blockbuster on the scale of last year's "Iron Man 3," which brought in $174 million at U.S. theaters opening weekend alone, and went on to gross a total of $410 million in the U.S.
Part of the problem is growing competition: between the World Cup, and big event television like "Orange is the New Black" and "Game of Thrones," people simply have more entertainment options than ever.
But there have also been some issues of scheduling and timing—"Fast and Furious 7" was postponed from this July to next summer because of Paul Walker's tragic death. Rentrak's Paul Dergarabedian estimates it could have added $200 million to the U.S. box office.
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Can things turn around? Yes—slowly but yes.
Films are already starting to gain momentum—"Transformers: Age of Extinction" has grossed more than $230 million in the U.S. and "Dawn of Planet of the Apes" opened with over $73 million, and more than $155 million so far.
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And expectations are high for Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy," which opens a week from Friday. Of all the films coming out, the dozens of people we talked to at Comic-Con say that's the movie they're most excited to see. The film has a rare 100 percent critics rating on Rottentomatoes.com and a 99 percent "want to see" rating from nearly 10,000 users.
The quirky, comedic superhero film could draw wide audiences—male, female, young, and old—to create a huge hit. Though sources say early tracking projects an opening weekend U.S. box office around $60 million, others say it could be as high as $70 million, which would set a new record for August.