"Ticket sales at North American movie theaters totaled $9.7 billion, a 4% increase over the previous year, according to Media by Numbers, a box office tracking company.
But attendance was flat, after a narrow increase in 2006 and three previous years of sharp declines. Movie fans bought about 1.42 billion tickets last year, according to Media by Numbers. The high watermark of the last 10 years came in 2002, when moviegoers bought about 1.61 billion tickets . . .
But box office results are always a game of glass half-full and glass half-empty, and the half-empties this time seem more prominent.
DVD sales continue to slump both domestically and abroad. The private money that has washed over Hollywood in recent years is starting to slow, investment bankers say, as more hedge funds go home with little to show. And movie executives are worried about the impending collision between striking screenwriters and the important awards shows."
In other words, except for ticket price inflation, sales were flat . . .
A Film Year Full of Escapism, Flat in Attendance
NYT, January 2, 2008