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Plano-Based Cinemark Sets Record With Highest-Grossing Month

Together, Barbie and Oppenheimer, dubbed Barbenheimer by fans, grossed over $1.5 billion in less than a month
Photo: bbernard | Shutterstock

On August 1, 2023, Plano-based Cinemark Holdings, In., one of the largest theatre chain companies in the world, announced that July 2023 was the highest-grossing month in the company’s history.

“This month’s record-setting result validates consumer enthusiasm for experiencing films in an immersive, larger-than-life, cinematic environment is as strong as ever,” said Sean Gamble, Cinemark president and CEO, in a statement, and box office numbers agree with him.

Cinemark’s record-setting box office performance is in tune with a strong July for the film industry. While the writers' and actors’ strikes put productions filmed in the U.S. to a halt, the release of several blockbusters in one month brought significant gains for the industry. According to CBS News, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie alone surpassed $1 billion globally since its release in late July, the first movie directed solely by a woman to hit such a landmark — and it did it in less than a month.

Second behind Barbie is Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, which, after making over $84 million in its domestic opening night has grossed more than $550 million worldwide. Following suit, comes Mission Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One with almost $500 million globally, after being briefly surpassed by the controversial Sound of Freedom during the opening week before the crowdfunded movie, released exclusively in America, swamped at $163 million.

“As has clearly been demonstrated time and again over the past two years, a theatrical release provides an elevated viewing experience that delights audiences, increases promotional impact, builds significant cultural moments, and generates enhanced value for all forms of content,” continued Gamble, echoing what the research group United Talent Agency IQ (UTA IQ) found in early 2023 — that if studios make the right movies, people will go to theatres, even if those movies will end up on streaming platforms soon after. 

According to Vanity Fair, UTA IQ’s study conducted a poll with 2,000 American participants ages between 15 and 69, which found that 75% planned to maintain or increase their visits to the theatre this year and 33% intend to go even more, provided that studios release movies they are interested in.

And moviegoers still have a lot to look forward to this year, beginning with the release of the high-energy animated movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem on Aug. 2, followed by Martin Scorsese’s new western crime drama, Killers of the Flower Moon on Oct. 20, Denis Villeneuve’s second part of the iconic space epic Dune on Nov. 3 and the new musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel, The Color Purple on Dec. 25.

“I’d like to commend our studio partners and the creative community for producing such compelling content, as well as our remarkable Cinemark team for driving these results,” concluded Gamble.