5 Lessons Learned From a $4 Billion Summer at the Box Office | Chart

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While budgets for many blockbusters got out of control, this was a season that reaffirmed the power of a filmmaker’s unique vision

"Barbie" (Warner Bros.), "Oppenheimer" (Universal Pictures)

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The 2023 summer box office season was many things, but never boring. Theaters saw meaningful progress as their industry continued to recover from the pandemic shutdown, while studios navigated through four months of record-setting hits and stunning flops.

The final tally for the summer: $4.08 billion, 20% above last year’s $3.39 billion total and just 5.5% behind the $4.32 billion recorded in 2019 (though that total doesn’t include the opening week of “Avengers: Endgame.”)

The foremost factor in this year-over-year surge was undoubtedly the pop culture craze that was “Barbenheimer.” Combined, Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” and Universal’s “Oppenheimer” saw over $920 million in domestic grosses and over $2.2