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As the summer movie season drew to a close in late August, Hollywood film bosses were in a state of panic. The US box office, the biggest in the world, had had its worst performance in more than two decades. Takings were down 50% to $3.8bn, the lowest since 2006, and cinema attendance hit a low not seen since 1992. Summer hits such as Wonder Woman and Spider-Man: Homecoming failed to offset a string of flops including Baywatch, Tom Cruise’s remake of The Mummy, and King Arthur, which received a particularly scathing reaction from critics and audiences. “The box office suffered because of underperforming sequels and remakes, audiences tired of the same old retreads and reboots,” says Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at the research firm comScore.

However, a change in attitude by studios towards the traditional summer blockbuster season means big box-office hits are starting to be sprinkled throughout the year. Traditional summer films Beauty and the Beast and The Fate of The Furious appeared in March and April, and the now annual stocking-filler of a Star Wars hit at Christmas means the US box office is set to recover to be nearly flat at $11.1bn – while the international market has grown.