Even with ‘Star Wars’ surge, moviegoing could hit 22-year low. Blame bad sequels, rising ticket prices and streaming

Sunday, December 24, 2017
By Paul Martin

By Ryan Faughnder
LATimes.com
December 23, 2017

Hollywood is celebrating the end of 2017 with astronomical sales from “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which is on track to soon exceed $1 billion in global ticket sales and eventually become the biggest movie of the year. But that won’t be enough to write a happy storyline for the industry.

Although movie ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada are expected to dip just below last year’s record of $11.38 billion, the number of tickets sold is projected to drop 4% to 1.26 billion — the lowest level since 1995, according to preliminary estimates from studio executives.

The falloff in ticket sales can mostly be explained by a handful of movies that flopped, especially during the dreary summer season that posted the worst results in more than two decades. Even such massive hits as “Wonder Woman,” “Thor: Ragnarok” and “It” couldn’t make up for a lackluster summer lineup populated by rickety franchises (“Alien: Covenant”) and poorly reviewed retreads (“The Mummy”).

However, the long-term decline in attendance reflects systemic challenges facing the industry. Audiences are spending less time going to the movies and are consuming more entertainment on small screens and through streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon that are spending billions on original video content.

At the same time, while higher ticket prices have helped to offset attendance declines, they have made consumers pickier about what movies they’re willing to go see. And those increasingly discerning consumers turn to social media and Rotten Tomatoes to decide what’s worth their time and money.

“You cannot pull a fast one on the audience,” said Greg Foster, chief executive of Imax Entertainment. “The tools that are available for consumers to decide how and where to spend entertainment dollars are so vast. Consumers know what works and what doesn’t long before the product becomes available.”

You cannot pull a fast one on the audience. … Consumers know what works and what doesn’t long before the product becomes available.
— Greg Foster, chief executive of Imax Entertainment

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One Response to “Even with ‘Star Wars’ surge, moviegoing could hit 22-year low. Blame bad sequels, rising ticket prices and streaming”

  1. Robert Edward Lee

    POLITICAL CORRECTNESS is to blame. “THEY” are obsessed with cramming it down our throats and don’t care if it ruins the movie. People are sick of it. They made “The Gunslinger” in Stephen Kings ‘Dark Tower’ a black guy !!! 80 % of judges in movies and TV are black and black women !!! The new thing is “darkie with white girl” like in Will Smiths new cop drama. America’s done. Re boot the south or die.

    #3513702

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