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February Box Office Is Up From Last Year… but Only Because of Leap Day

Disappointing numbers for ”Birds of Prey“ left calendar grosses below $650 million for second straight year

Estimates for the February box office show a small uptick from last year’s slump… but only because 2020 had an extra day to add to the monthly total.

According to estimates from Comscore, calendar grosses for February finished at $644.7 million, up 2.6% from last year’s $628.3 million. But without the grosses from Leap Day on Saturday, February would have finished with a $600 million total. Either way, this is the second straight year that February grosses have fallen below $700 million after climbing above that mark from 2014-18.

At the start of the month, February totals were expected to be well above $700 million thanks to strong numbers from “Birds of Prey” and “Sonic the Hedgehog.” But “Birds of Prey” has fallen short of expectations despite positive word of mouth, with a running domestic total of just $78.7 million. That has left “Sonic” as the month’s top grosser with $123.3 million.

March is expected to be a better month for the box office, but will begin the year-over-year drop predicted throughout the industry, as there are no films like “Captain Marvel” that are expected to be billion-dollar hits. In its place are a series of films expected to make solid openings like “Onward,” “I Still Believe” and “A Quiet Place – Part II”; but a chance at $100 million-plus opening won’t come until the release of “Mulan” at the end of the month.