Our changing taste in movies infographic
Graphic charts U.S. movie box office market since 1995.


The most popular box office draws over the years

By Ninian Carter

March 6, 2024 - The past 30 years have seen marked changes at the box office, with dramatisations of novels or real life incidents now gaining in popularity as the taste for fantasy and superhero genres declines.

Over the last three decades, our taste in movies has changed, sometimes dramatically.

In 1995, contemporary fiction accounted for 55% of U.S. box office market share – in 2024, it’s 33%.

Historical fiction was a fan favourite back then too, with a 14% market share. Now it takes just 4% of theatre receipts.

In 1995, superhero movies were thin on the ground, holding only a 3.5% share of the market. The genre steadily rose from then, peaking in 2021 at 32%, mostly thanks to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and a slew of blockbuster releases.

However, recent superhero fatigue has led to a rapid decline – accounting for only 9% today, after a string of flops that must be causing Disney (Marvel Studio's parent company) some concern.

On the up are dramatisations of books or real life incidents, rising in recent years from 3.5% in 2021, to 19% in 2024.

Science fiction has undulated in popularity over the decades – currently standing at 15%, but likely to be boosted by the critically acclaimed “Dune: Part 2” which has hauled in an impressive $183 million dollars at the worldwide box office in the first few days of March.

PUBLISHED: 06/03/2024; STORY: Graphic News