It’s been a horrible year for the movie industry, the worst in 16 years. Naturally Hollywood is blaming everything but its largely unwatchable product.
The result: projected domestic revenues for the year of $10.15 billion, down 4 percent from 2010’s, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com. Taking higher ticket prices into account, movie attendance is off even more, with an estimated 1.275 billion tickets sold, a 4.8 percent decline and the smallest movie audience since 1995, when admissions totaled 1.26 billion.
“There were a lot of high-profile movies that just ended up being a little less than were hoped for,” said Chris Aronson, head of distribution for 20th Century Fox, whose sequel “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” has been part of an under-achieving lineup of family films for the holidays. “The fall was pretty dismal. There just weren’t any real breakaway, wide-appeal films.”
More like no appeal. It’s taken way too long but maybe, maybe, Americans have finally grown bored with the assembly line confection of schlock and sequels. Moviegoers even rejected Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler flicks this year, a development with only positive consequences.
Score one for 2011.