Box Office Revenue Down 4%, Attendance Down 5%

The Wrap openly wonders if the recent collapse at the box office is more about a dwindling audience for films as opposed to a lack of titles moviegoers are interested in. If that proves to be the case, and we’ll know a lot more at the end of the year, that’s a real problem for Hollywood.

Why the studios chose to jam so many titles over the next two weekends and get out of the way of “New Year’s Eve” and “The Sitter” this last weekend makes absolutely no sense.

The Wrap:

Moviegoers will have a lot to choose from under the big box office tree this Christmas holiday — in fact, they might even have too many choices.

Beginning next weekend with the release of “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” and sequels to “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Sherlock Holmes,” an unprecedented number of big studio films will be crowding into the domestic box office at the same time.

From Dec. 16 through Christmas Day, eight films will be released wide (see chart) – including two by Steven Spielberg – while about a half-dozen specialty titles will either enter the market or expand their footprint.

The major studios will be packing in these expensive films at a time when business has been weak, with box office revenue down 4 percent year-to-year and attendance plunging 5 percent, according to Hollywood.com’s Paul Dergarabedian.

This weekend the box office had its worst performance since September, 2008. Which begs the question: Is there enough audience for all these films?

“It’s a crowded marketplace, and [studios] are banking on audiences being there,” said Nikki Rocco, president of distribution for Universal Pictures. “We’ll see what the market can bear.”

“I have never seen so many movies going at the same weekend, ever,” another distribution executive told TheWrap. “Sometimes there’s four and five movies. Six is an awful lot. But six of this caliber — and at least most of them are high-caliber — it’s insane.”

Full article here.

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