Summer BO down 6% from last year

posted by moviebuff82 on September 15, 2010 at 7:45 am

According to ABC News audiences are not going to the movies as much as last summer, due to rising ticket prices and a shorter summer.

Exhibitors charged an average $7.88 for summer movie tickets, up 4.5% from $7.54 last summer, NATO said. That compares with an almost 6% ticket-price jump between summer 2008 and last year, when the spread of premium pricing in 3D venues fueled a more dramatic inflation in moviegoing costs.

Hollywood marks its summer from the first full weekend in May through Labor Day, annually scheduling one of the season’s biggest pictures to bow on the first Friday. This year, Paramount — which tops seasonal market-share rankings with 19% and $775.5 million through Sunday — opened the $312 million, Marvel Studios-produced grosser “Iron Man 2” on May 7.

Comments (25)

efriedmann
efriedmann on September 15, 2010 at 10:52 am

Perhaps movie audiences are finally wising up and deciding that they’re not going to allow themselves to get screwed anymore!

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on September 15, 2010 at 11:39 am

I agree Eric F. Thanks to netflix, cable tv, pay tv, and easier ways to download movies online, the box office will deteriorate unless a movie the size of Avatar brings people back into theaters.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 15, 2010 at 1:38 pm

And they screamed in 1975 when we went from 2.75 a seat to $3.00 a seat on “JAWS”. Love it.

BradE41
BradE41 on September 15, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Perhaps it is down because the films were so awful. I think people sent a message to Hollywood and said we are tired of the crap.

Inception and Toy Story 3 were the only worthty studio films. There were some decent indies, Animal Kingdom, Kids Are All Right, Winter Bone, Girl who played with Fire, Cyrus. But essentially the studio product pretty much sucked.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on September 15, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I think Summer BO got off to a wrong start by the greed of certain production companies with the release of Shrek and a few others in May. You can charge only so much no matter how enthused your audience is about your product. What did it go up to..$17 or so until it retreated back?

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on September 15, 2010 at 3:50 pm

SUMMER 2010: WORST SUMMER EVER! An A for “Inception,” B+’s for Toy Story 3, Despicable Me & Iron Man 2 and that’s it. A couple of sleepers here and there but, for the most part, this summer was TERRIBLE!

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on September 15, 2010 at 4:10 pm

i agree with you utley. 2011 might be a bit better.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on September 15, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Once again… WHY is it all about the almighty “$” regarding ticket sales?
How about the headcount attendance number. hummmmm? I ask this because of the variance of admission prices depending which little black box you decide to attend across this country.

RichardCWolfe
RichardCWolfe on September 15, 2010 at 5:49 pm

This was a great summer for our theatre. The best ever! Actually a great year. Not only is our box office revenue up both this summer and for the entire year, but ticket sales (butts in the seats) are up by 5% as well. Of course with admissions up, concession sales are up as well, and we have had NO increase in prices this year for tickets or refreshments.

Hmmm… I wonder if the fact that we are a restored 1933 art deco single screen theatre that still uses curtains, uniformed staff, no screen ads, and only charges $3.00 for tickets and no more then $3.00 for even our large concession items has anything to do with it?

JohnMessick
JohnMessick on September 16, 2010 at 2:12 am

Ross…I have been to Rick’s theater. He takes great pride in her. You should see her.

moviemad
moviemad on September 16, 2010 at 4:54 am

The film companies dropped the ball at Memorial Day weekend by not providing theatres with a major release. Worst holiday weekend I’ve seen.

markp
markp on September 16, 2010 at 5:51 am

I must say I agree with just about everyone above. I work for an independant theatre owner, and I could see it was slower than usual this summer. I think all the above points about product, price etc are valid, price especially. Look at RickWolfe. Business UP. Maybe its because many people are in the same situation as myself and my wife (who has been unemployed most of the year). You make a choice as to pay the mortgage, or spend $80.00 when all is said and done to see a crappy movie, in a crappy theatre, with crappy projection. Im just sayin.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on September 16, 2010 at 9:25 am

Forget 2011…I’m waiting for Summer 2012: Chris Nolan’s 3rd Batman film, The Avengers, MIB 3, Star Trek 2, & Spider-Man Rebooted (on the other hand…I’m very skeptical about that one!)among others.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on September 16, 2010 at 9:26 am

I should clarify: JJ Abrams Star Trek Sequel (I originally said Star Trek 2…which was released almost 30 years ago). :)

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on September 16, 2010 at 11:53 am

That’s funny. I do work for a top five exhibitor, and my theatre saw a good uptick in attendance this summer. Our market share over our local competition also jumped up dramatically this summer. Maybe it’s because our theatre isn’t crappy, our projection isn’t crappy, and our staff isn’t crappy. And while the summer might not have filled with several soon-to-be-classic movies, what summer ever has been? Every September, we hear the same calls of how the just ended summer season was one of the worst ever, how there were only one or two truly worthy movies and how the endless stream of junk from Hollywood is going to kill the industry. What other great movies were released in the summer of 1975, along with Jaws? What other perennials were released the same timeframe in 1977, the summer of Star Wars? Or 1981, the summer of Raiders? Or 1984, the summer of Ghostbusters? We have enough time and distance to accurately judge.

Let’s go back 25 years, to 1985. Back to the Future was a smash, but what else came out that summer? The other major studio and indie distributed films of that summer were The Black Cauldron, Brewster’s Millions, The Bride, Cocoon, D.A.R.Y.L., Day of the Dead, The Emerald Forest, Explorers, Fletch, Fright Night, The Goonies, The Heavenly Kid, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Legend of Billie Jean, Lifeforce, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, The Man with One Red Shoe, My Science Project, National Lampoon’s European Vacation, Ordeal by Innocence, Pale Rider, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Perfect, Prizzi’s Honor, The Protector, Rambo: First Blood Part 2, Real Genius, Red Sonja, Return of the Living Dead, Return to Oz, Rustler’s Rhapsody, Secret Admirer, Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird, Silverado, St. Elmo’s Fire, The Stuff, Summer Rental, Teen Wolf, A View to a Kill, Volunteers, Warning Sign, Weird Science and Year of the Dragon.

Take a good look at that list. It’s about par for any summer. A lot of crap you’ve probably forgotten about, three or four titles you might watch once every ten years and two or three more you might actually own on DVD. The most shocking part of the list is that two of the five Best Picture nominees from that year, Kiss of the Spider Woman and Prizzi’s Honor, were released that summer. That didn’t happen very often, although it’s more likely to happen now there are ten BP nomination slots. But still, really think about it. How many of those movies did you see in theatres back then (assuming, of course, you were old enough at the time to go to see most of them). That summer, I saw Back to the Future, Cocoon, Explorers, Fletch, The Goonies, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, National Lampoon’s European Vacation, Pale Rider, Prizzi’s Honor, Real Genius, Silverado, St. Elmo’s Fire and Weird Science in theatres. Of those, I only own one on DVD after all this time, which is of course Back to the Future. I’ll watch most of the others once every few years. But of the ones I didn’t see in theatres that I would ever watch again is Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and I haven’t watched it in years.

Go back to any summer movie season in the past thirty five years and you’ll see the same thing over and over again. Mostly crap, a handful of films we’d watch if we stumbled across them on TV and a few we would actually own.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on September 16, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Edward, summer movies have always included junk but never as bad this past summer.

“What other great movies were released in the summer of 1975, along with Jaws?”

THE RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER, LOVE AND DEATH, NASHVILLE, THE MAN IN THE GLASS BOOTH plus numerous Disney re-releases even during a product shortage year.

“What other perennials were released the same timeframe in 1977, the summer of Star Wars?”

NEW YORK NEW YORK, CRIA!, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, AGUIRRE- THE WRATH OF GOD, SUSPIRIA, THE HILLS HAVE EYES, plus Disney re-releases

Or 1981, the summer of Raiders?

OUTLAND, FOR YOUE EYES ONLY, THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER, THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, LILI MARLEEN, ARTHUR, EYE OF THE NEEDLE, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, PRINCE OF THE CITY.

Or 1984, the summer of Ghostbusters?

STAR TREK III, ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, THE KARATE KID, GREMLINS, ANOTHER COUNTRY, THE POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE, THE 4TH MAN, THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY, THE NEVERENDING STORY, PURPLE RAIN, TIGHTROPE, CHOOSE ME.

“Let’s go back 25 years, to 1985. Back to the Future was a smash, but what else came out that summer?”

You name a lot of fun films and classics including:
Cocoon, The Emerald Forest, The Goonies, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, National Lampoon’s European Vacation, Pale Rider, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Prizzi’s Honor, Rambo: First Blood Part 2, St. Elmo’s Fire, A View to a Kill.

You left out THE HOME AND THE WORLD, A FLASH OF GREEN, THE COCA-COLA KID, THE HOLY INNOCENTS.

Can you name that many fun films or classics in the summer of 2010? I can only name three passable titles all summer. That’s possibly the worst record since theatre air conditioning was invented. That the drop was only 6% is a great testament to the power of opening weekend marketing.

dfc
dfc on September 16, 2010 at 1:55 pm

“Hmmm… I wonder if the fact that we are a restored 1933 art deco single screen theatre that still uses curtains, uniformed staff, no screen ads, and only charges $3.00 for tickets and no more then $3.00 for even our large concession items has anything to do with it? – posted by RickWolfe”

Rick, where is your theater? Charging $3, you can’t be in a major metro area. Glad to see your theater is doing well.

KenLayton
KenLayton on September 16, 2010 at 2:23 pm

The prices at most theaters have finally become the breaking point. Too high for most families in a bad economy. Thank goodness for drive-ins and independent theaters who are doing their best to make a trip to the theater affordable.

RichardCWolfe
RichardCWolfe on September 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I’m in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton (Lehigh Valley) Pennsylvania metro area of 700,000 people.

You can visit us at: www.roxytheaternorthampton.com

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on September 16, 2010 at 11:06 pm

It’s not the theatres. It never has been.

It it simply a bad product year motivated, as always, by huge previous grosses for bad movies like THE DARK KNIGHT Batman killer and those LORD OF THE RINGS literature abortions.

William
William on September 17, 2010 at 6:36 am

In the last 30 years I would go to the movies once or twice and sometimes three times a week. So it was easy to hit 50-75 films a year at a theatre. But with work, home video and cable that number went down each year. I work in the film business (production now) and have worked as a theatre projectionist. So those above numbers are for off time from work. So now I’m luck from I hit 10 times going to the movies. And that’s with free passes to the theatre. It’s easier to see the films at home now. I get Blu-ray discs from Netflix and have a full 103" HD projection with pro Dolby Digital sound. (It’s nice to know the guys at Dolby Labs.)
Hollywood greenlights these projects that look good on paper. Or will play well for the 17 year old market.

efriedmann
efriedmann on September 20, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I used to be an addict when it came to going to the movies. This summer, the only film I saw was TOY STORY 3 with my little boy. I haven’t been to a grown up film for myself since AVATAR last January. What does that tell you???

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 23, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Movies for the most part just don’t do it for me.No Lancaster,Fonda.Heston.Wayne,McQueen,Eastwood is retired.Nope this crop of Movie heroes Stink,Guys.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Please Forgive me,I forgot Kirk Douglas.

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