Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Grim fate awaits outdated movie studios

Illustration: Liu Rui In the past few days, Hollywood has done its best to end the movie year on a high. There have been openings for everything from the second Sherlock Holmes epic to the latest Mission Impossible, plus the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and romantic and cute movies such as New Year's Eve and We Bought a Zoo.

Throw in serious Oscar fare such as The Iron Lady and Young Adult, plus a host of the biggest stars and plenty of 3D movies too and it all should have been hunky dory. But this didn't prove the case. The box office has been decidedly damp, just as has been the case all of this year.

Not only is revenue down about 4.5 percent for the year, at around $10.1 billion, but also attendance is down even further. After all, there have been more 3D offerings, always at higher prices than normal movies, and a general increase in ticket prices in many movie houses. Some estimates put attendance at around 1.27 billion, which works out at about four visits to the movies on average for every American. This will be the lowest level since 1995. Read More