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Record year at box office doesn't translate to more viewers

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 28 Dec 2007 19:34 User comments (15)

Record year at box office doesn't translate to more viewers Although this year's box office receipts will set a new revenue record for the movie industry in the U.S. it's not necessarily a sign that the market is improving. It turns out that the 4% increase over last year's revenue happens to be the same as the average ticket price increase. In other words the same number of people paid more money to fill the same number of seats.
According to some, this years decline in home video sales was due in part to a lack of blockbusters as new releases. Despite a large number of theatrical blockbusters this year, a large number have been sequels, which typically don't perform as well in the home video market. Add in consumer uncertainty about the format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray and you have a recipe for continued decline in revenue for Hollywood.

Brandon Gray, president of online movie publication Box Office Mojo, says that there's reason for concern since only one of the many sequels released this year exceeded previous installments at thei box office. He also mentioned that this year's revenue was from fewer movies, each playing on more screens than was typical in years past.

This sounds somewhat reminiscent of the music industry, where new releases were cut drastically as sales fell. Just as music industry executives before them, those in the movie industry are still searching for a true successor to the DVD format, and that may not be helped by bigger, but fewer new movies, regardless of how well each one does individually.

Source: Reuters

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15 user comments

128.12.2007 22:49

When they figure out what to do about the screenwriters, I'm sure the cost will be passed on to us consumers anyways. Here's a great idea, pay Tom Cruise a couple million less to do a movie... or use someone else and make them a star, that way you can drop prices and see maybe a larger increase in attendance. Oh, and that's assuming they stop putting out crap like Dragon Wars.

229.12.2007 1:08

If it wasn't for my daughter I probably would never go to the movies. I mostly see kids movies because of her. Hollywood has run out of ideas. Everything is either a sequel, remake of a remake or they do a crappy translation of a book.

329.12.2007 2:07

I don't bother with the cinema. I wait two or three months, then rent the DVD. Going out to the movies just isn't good value - or enjoyable - anymore.

It won't surprise me if I see a story from the box office bean counters saying this year has been a bumper year for the cinema and movies in general.

429.12.2007 5:25

There are very few movies I will see in the cinema, though for the ones I do see I generally try to watch them in the more expensive seats ($12 matinee $18 for nights, over 21 balcony with theater waiters serving food drinks and booze at your seat and seating that is like a loveseat instead of the cramped regular seats... oh and carpet so no sticky feet when I leave).

More generally during the late spring, summer and early fall I am more inclined to go to the last remaining drive in in my area and watch 3 movies for $8 (or is it $10). Not the qulaity sound or screen but definately the value.

I've been to the theater 2 times in the last 5 months (I am Legend and National Treasure) and probably won't be back until Narnia and some other movie I can't remember comes out in 4-5 months.

Most times I just wait until the DVD comes out because MOST movies just are not worht the extra cost.

529.12.2007 7:42

Of coarse not they don't make movies for the mases anymore they make them for the 12-2X sect of mindless zombies that will watch anythign 2 or 5 times.........thus they dont get more viewers just more repeat viewers just how they always wanted it.

629.12.2007 8:15

I miss drive-ins. Damn land prices.

729.12.2007 10:09

Well I was one that like to goto the movies all the time, but now im older and dont go as often i rather wait for the movies to come one on dvd, another factor is Hollywood have run out of ideas, always coming out with re-makes sequels, they need to up their creativity, also they 90% of movie goers in recent years are teenagers with the price increase they are Forced into Downloading If a movie is not good from the get go, why would you go and pay 10 dollars to sit through it, pay another 10 dollars in snacks is totally ridiculous. Again Revise your strategy, experiment with Itunes and movie downloads hollywood should experiment, put the First 15 of the movie free online, track how many people watch it, and from that decide if you gonna go ahead with a multi theather release or just send it directly to dvd .

829.12.2007 19:28

yes we need more actual good movies not just pointless action oriented films with no plot line.

930.12.2007 0:49

There hasn't been many movies that I really wanted to watch this year. I only went to the theater about five times this year. The high cost of gasoline, entrance fee, and snacks is too much. If I went to the movies with a friend, it would cost about $40 for everything. Instead of going to the movies and spending the money there, we go to the stripclub and get a lapdance for $20, we order drinks and spend a few hours doing that and then I wait three months for the movie I wanted to watch to appear on DVD.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Dec 2007 @ 2:15

1030.12.2007 4:55

A stripclub instead of a movie. Now why didn't I think of that :P

1130.12.2007 21:14

For me, going to the movies is a social experience. Sure, there's the Big Screen and all, but the real draw is experiencing something meaningful with a large number of people at the same time. Hollywood suffers because A) it's rare when something very meaningful happens in a modern movie, and B) when it does, it's only experienced by a few people in a crackerbox-cut-up-multi-mega theater showing 15 different movies. Just a thought, there, Mr. Warner.

1231.12.2007 0:42

I totally agree with you. Since the invention of Home Theater and Netflix I don't go to the movies as much as I used to. I still go if there's a great movie or if I want to make it a social thing like you say. Other than that, you won't see me at the movies. They don't make them like they used to...

1331.12.2007 12:15

Movies to me are extremely rare. I'll indulge in 1 "blockbuster" a year with my wife. We just don't really care for it anymore. But for that 1 time a year that we do go, it's the matinee ($6 a ticket) and we bring our own cany, popcorn and soda. The prices of snacks are INSANE! We open the small bottles of soda outside so that it doesn't fiz/hiss in the theatre. I love women and their large purses!

But, yeah, everything else becoming so expensive has also contributed to us losing an interest. Gas prices are hitting our wallet pretty hard and I just got screwed with my health insurance for 2008.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 31 Dec 2007 @ 12:16

1431.12.2007 21:33

did they just swap topics in mid article from Movie theater to in home theater? Theater seating i dont see has much to do with in home movie purchasing?! Maybe i mis read this? I have about 6 HD DVD movies i can buy 1 for what it would cost me & my wife to go to the movies if u have to pay for a baby sitter there are 2-3 HD movies you could have gotten LEGALLY to watch over & over?! or Mail order movies! i can get 4+ movies a mo & return them when i want not pay for baby sitter & pause for breaks & pay $1 for my own popcorn & 3$ for a couple drinks & candy @ 7-11 & not go any where! I truly think with HD (no particular format) getting bigger that theaters are going to have to do something to bring people back!

151.1.2008 22:23

Everyone posting going to see a movie now because of a young family member and the age group that "hollywood" is now focusing on is exactly correct. Just not interested like when I was young so I wait for the dvd and watch it in the comfort of my home. If I'm running the show, I would focus on the best way to create more ways of viewing the latest releases with the ever growing median age of people that want to watch movies from the comfort of their homes.
Also, considering all of this and how it was a break even year at the big theater, can you post the numbers on netflix and all the cable companies and satellite companies that now offer movies on demand. I would venture to guess that those numbers have helped increase revenues a great deal. Maybe it wasn't such a bad year after all.

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