Brief Glance at the 2022 Box Office Proves Moral, Uplifting Movies Prevailed

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Brief Glance at the 2022 Box Office Proves Moral, Uplifting Movies Prevailed

By Movieguide® Staff

While 2022 saw a substantial increase in box office revenue from the roller coaster year of 2020, exhibitors are still working out how to get audiences back to their theaters.

Alamo Drafthouse’s lead film programmer Sarah Pitre notes that the box office remains uncertain.

“We’re doing everything we can to bring people back to the movies,” Pitre said. “We’re passionate about movies, and we want to do more to maximize the content we’re showing. It’s about rebuilding that relationship with our customers.”

“It was definitely a rebound year,” Tearlach Hutcheson, VP of film at Studio Movie Grill added. “There’s still a lack of product from studios, and it’s going to take a while to change that.”

However, for major studios like Walt Disney Studios, a ‘lack of product’ is not entirely to blame for their box office woes.

Disney’s STRANGE WORLD bombed at the box office and LIGHTYEAR also faltered, becoming one of Pixar’s weakest releases to date, despite its popular IP. Both are expected to cost the company over $100M in losses according to Variety.

While Disney’s comic book movies continued to sit atop the box office charts—BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER, DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS, and THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER—only DOCTOR STRANGE cracked the top half of all Marvel movies for global box office numbers.

Read More: Why the Mighty Marvel Movies Are Starting to Fall

In contrast, studios that were thought to be on their way out as major players, skyrocketed in 2022.

Paramount’s TOP GUN: MAVERICK carried the studio back into contention as one of the top studios. Paramount supplemented their massive success of TOP GUN with stable family-friendly outings such as SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2.

A portion of Movieguide®’s review of TOP GUN: MAVERICK reads:

TOP GUN: MAVERICK is a terrific, powerful, exciting movie. It’s full of high drama and heart-pounding action scenes. This role was made for Tom Cruise. He gets great support from Miles Teller as Goose’s son and Jennifer Connelly as Maverick’s romantic interest. TOP GUN: MAVERICK has a strong moral, Pro-American, patriotic worldview. It also tells a strong redemptive story leading to sacrifice, forgiveness and reconciliation. However, TOP GUN: MAVERICK is marred by too many obscenities and three strong profanities. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong or extreme caution.

“It was truly a fantastic year,” Brian Robbins, Paramount Pictures president and CEO, said. “And I did feel like we were living in an alternative universe.”

Whether studios want to release hundreds of films or ten, the biggest contributing factor for audiences is content.

Some of the top grossing movies of 2022—TOP GUN: MAVERICK, MINIONS: RISE OF GRU, JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION—they all upheld moral values, family-friendly content, and uplifting themes that audiences were hungry to see on screen.

In general, Disney would be considered a shoe-in for the most successful children and family movies, but in 2022, the sacrificed that title for the sake of a progressive agenda—focused more on sexuality than story.

Movieguide® previously reported:

“Normally this time of year, a Disney family film is the big draw,” Paul Dergarabedian, a senior Comscore analyst said.

While Dergarabedian claims that Disney’s box office bomb is due to the “constraints of the pandemic,” Hollywood continues to disregard the evidence that family-friendly movies, or movies with an uplifting moral worldview, outperform immoral, or agenda-driven stories at the box office—regardless of the credentials of those making the movie.

Disney failed to take note of why LIGHTYEAR failed to take off with audiences, and made the same mistake with STRANGE WORLD, pandering to a small minority.

According to Variety, STRANGE WORLD would have to earn $360M to break even—a number that LIGHTYEAR fell short of in its worldwide earnings of $226M despite its established IP (intellectual property).

David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research notes: “At a cost of $180 million, plus marketing expenses, the film will finish in the red, even with good ancillary income.”

If Disney wants to retain their audience, they must reject their false assumption that inclusivity can substitute morality, or that sex can substitute for story.

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