2007 Movie Theater Attendance = Flat

First CDs, then DVDs, concerts and now movie theater ticket sales

"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 . . . 
>

Hollywood_woes

>

Source:
A Film Year Full of Escapism, Flat in Attendance
BROOKS BARNES
NYT, January 2, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/02/movies/02year.html 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. justin commented on Jan 2

    What ever happen to movies of old? The whole being of the republic is awash in second-hand entertainment. Who’s to direct the path of tomorrows choicers? May the best movie win.

  2. Marcus Aurelius commented on Jan 2

    To often, the next big thing is a bust. All Hollywood does is to recycle old movies (Legend/Omega man), TV shows (The Brady Bunch, et al.), Saturday morning cartoons (Transformers), and comic strips (Super-, Bat-, and Spider-man).

    Is it any wonder people are staying away?

  3. Eric Sebille commented on Jan 2

    Why would anyone go to the theater when you can have them delivered to your door via netflix?

  4. jock commented on Jan 2

    Who cares? Maybe if the “entertainment industry” keeps putting out such crap, people will amuse themselves!

  5. Big Al commented on Jan 2

    I agree with all the above and add that the key demographic of the industry, 12-25 (my guess), has been constant for many yrs. There are 4 million babies born/yr in the US for many yrs. This group does not care if a movie sucks. The industry is not going to expand their butts-in-the-seat(BITS) numbers until they make more quality films for all of us not in that demographic who have little time and energy to go to a theater to see something that might “probably” suck. It is always cheaper to wait til it comes out on DVD than to waste the cost and time of an evening plus cost of babysitter to have this epiphany half way through the film.

  6. BelowTheCrowd commented on Jan 3

    A single line sums up what’s been going on:

    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.

    Or to put it simply: Hollywood has been great at taking people’s money, paying it out to “big ticket” insiders, and showing little worthwhile to investors and customers.

    So both the customers and investors will go away. And sometime in the near future, somebody in Hollywood will figure out that bad, recycled content with bad, recycled “stars” whose involvement is less important to them than favorable treatment on TMZ just doesn’t attract anybody anymore. And when that happens, maybe we’ll see some original content, some participants who don’t get paid until the investors get paid first, and an overall healthier picture.

    Probably will happen about the same time as Boards of Directors start running their companies for the benefit of the shareholders and CEOs get fired with no retirment packages when they destroy shareholder value.

    I’m not holding my breath.

    -btc

  7. David commented on Jan 3

    More Coen brothers. Less Michael Moore/Al Gore flatulence.

  8. FT Woods commented on Jan 3

    If someone really wanted to have fun, they’d look into Hollywood “accounting.” It’s amazing the IRS let’s them get away with it.

  9. wunsacon commented on Jan 3

    >> Less Michael Moore/Al Gore flatulence.

    Most successful documentaries ever. Why should people create fewer of these?

    Look, I’m sure Glenn Beck will come out with a movie for you. Then, you can spend your money on that. Right?

  10. Marcus Aurelius commented on Jan 3

    Posted by: wunsacon | Jan 3, 2008 4:18:38 AM

    Thanks for posting that so I didn’t have to.

  11. Eric Davis commented on Jan 3

    I saw “Witness” a few weeks ago… What a brilliant suspense thriller, and you know if they re-released it, they would CGI the hell out of it, and they would be able to build 5 barns in one day.

    sometimes less is more.

  12. Costa commented on Jan 3

    of course movie attendence is down the make crap and keep remaking movies. who wants to go see a movie they saw already

  13. Kp commented on Jan 3

    I for one am thrilled at the prospect of the great recycle in the entertainment industry might be coming to a long overdue end.

    Stop insulting the classics and come up with something original…PLEASE!

  14. atp commented on Jan 3

    What are we doing? Reading The Big Picture etc., not going to the movies. Services/technologies like Vongo, Slingbox, Netflix and iTunes are disintermediating the move theater

  15. me commented on Jan 3

    My wife and I agree on very few movies so why would I shell out big bucks for something I don’t even want to see? At home, we watch what we want, when we want and stop the movie to go to the bathroom, play the sub-titles to see what dialog we missed, pause the movie to get a snack, drink, and oh yeah, no cell phones, talking or other rude distractions. Big screen TV with surround sound is just like being there for us.

  16. EF commented on Jan 3

    On the news last night they said it was an ok year – better than last year – mostly because of big movies like Spiderman and ticket prices went up. When they report movie numbers in the news, I always wonder if they take into consideration inflation when they make comparisons.

    Theaters aren’t the “experience” they once were because of changes in society and technology. Besides, in some areas, you risk your life going to the movies. Two guys jumped another guy in the movie theater and broke his arm among other things. He just wanted to watch the movie in peace. In a theater in a mall, they have to have a police presence. Icks!

  17. Brian commented on Jan 3

    Why would I go to the movies when they cost as much or more than the DVD that I have forever? The typical movie price keeps going up for 2 people (~20 dollars for 2 tickets) whereas the DVD price keeps declining (~15, 25 bluray). If you wait 3-4 months the DVD will be on sale for less that the actual movie.

  18. Brian commented on Jan 3

    Why would I go to the movies when they cost as much or more than the DVD that I have forever? The typical movie price keeps going up for 2 people (~20 dollars for 2 tickets) whereas the DVD price keeps declining (~15, 25 bluray). If you wait 3-4 months the DVD will be on sale for less that the actual movie.

  19. PTodd commented on Jan 3

    The movies coming out in recent years are just very poor quality. I just rewatch movies made in earlier years. But some people may be doing more pay per view on cable and recording them.

  20. everycritic commented on Jan 4

    Beware of buying into the “movies used to be great and now they’re crap” myth. Almost the only films from past decades we get to see today are the ones that stand the test of time. During WWII, Hollywood was cranking out films at record pace and MOST were utter garbage that have disappeared altogether. When all we can see easily in the 21st Century are “the classics” it’s not surprising we assume the films were better “back then.”

    Secondly, regarding the “why go out when you can stay at home?” school of thought… The answer is simple: most teenagers would rather die than hang around the house with the parents and (in fairness) there are plenty of parents who like an evening away from the kids. Anyone who has experienced cabin fever knows why theaters will continue to live on.

    Home video is fine, dandy and here to stay but when home video becomes the norm and movie theaters become the exception, the pendulum will swing back the other way and going out to movies will become a nice “new” experience all over again.

    Greedy industry people have enjoyed unrealistic, inflated profits in the past 20 years. When they’re not enjoying phenomenon like the DVD explosion, they create panic stories and shout that the industry is “dying.”

    Phooey.

    They said live theater would tank when film was invented. They said it again when radio was invented and again when television was invented and again when the Internet was invented……

    See ya at the movies!

  21. AMERICAN DIGEST commented on Jan 5

    Saturday Review: The Week That Went

    Futility Closet” href=”http://www.futilitycloset.com/2008/01/04/the-generals-ghost/”> The General’s Ghost from Futility Closet A FEW OF THE MILLIONS of worthy and amazing things you missed on the Web this week. [Sources: AD Shared Items, Kaching!, and…

Read this next.

Posted Under