Hollywood has been setting record lows in movie attendance and revenue, and the Associated Press is reporting that the lull is the worst its been since 1995. Since 2010 alone, numbers have dropped 3.5 percent, with this year's projected domestic revenue down to $10.2 billion. Despite higher ticket prices — particularly for 3D monstrosities — overall tickets sold slid 4.4 percent at 1.28 billion tickets sold.
Long-running, popular franchises such as Harry Potter
, and Twilight
performed as expected, but high-profile films and summer blockbusters didn't thrive as expected. "The fall was pretty dismal. There just weren't any real breakaway, wide-appeal films," Chris Aronson — head of distribution for 20th Century Fox reported. Other movies took off overseas, but failed to draw a substantial crowd domestically — such as Pirates of the Caribbean
and X-Men: First Class
. Even animated cinema and comic book heroes couldn't save the day, unable to match the $200 million jackpot for the first time since 2005 and 2001, respectively. Luckily surprise hits like Bridesmaids
and The Help
increased sales where others failed to deliver.
So what's the cause? "It's not any one thing. It's a little bit of everything," said Jeff Goldstein, general sales manager at Warner Bros. " … Consumers are being more specific with their choices on how to spend their money. The options are a little greater than they were a few years ago with gaming and social-networking opportunities."
The horizon looks bright for 2012, with The Dark Knight Rises, a new James Bond entry, vamp tale Dark Shadows, and Peter Jackson's highly anticipated The Hobbit being just a few of the monkeymakers waiting in the wings. "I'm not prepared to be Chicken Little yet, but if the films coming in 2012 can't reverse this trend, then I think we need to reevaluate our expectations," Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian shared. "We are living in a different world today than we did in the mid-'90s in terms of the technology available to deliver media. That may finally be having an impact.
What were the biggest culprits for lagging sales and attendance? The flailing economy? Increases in ticket prices? Better at-home technology? A continuous onslaught of remakes and rehashes? Chime in below. Read about the rest of 2011's bum report card on AP