Yahoo.com talks about the box office slump and how its not really as bad as the media is making it out to be.
Here is the article:
Talk of movie slump dominates Hollywood’s summer
By Bob Tourtellotte
Thu Aug 11, 3:23 PM ET
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A bumpy ride at the summer box office and signs that booming DVD sales may be slowing have Hollywood studios looking for new ways to win fans as the movie industry faces increased competition.
But studio executives say the key to recapturing audiences is to make better films — an age-old answer in Hollywood — and industry watchers are divided over whether film and DVD markets truly are weakening.
“If you believe all the press reports, we are in the middle of Armageddon with box office erosion,” said Peter Chernin, president of News Corp., parent of the Twentieth Century Fox film studio. “I believe that is a definite overreaction.”
Movie studios and theater owners have had a rough summer, which is a problem since the season makes up nearly 40 percent of annual movie ticket sales.
By September’s Labor Day holiday in the United States, the box office is expected to be down 7 to 12 percent after films such like “The Island” and “Stealth” failed to connect with audiences.
Tracking service Exhibitor Relations sees ticket sales at around $3.7 billion for the season, about 7 percent below 2004’s $3.96 billion, marking the worst summer since 2001.
Admissions, or the number of people attending movies, are seen down 9 percent at 578 million for the worst year since 1999.
But Exhibitor Relations President Paul Dergarabedian admitted his figures were optimistic. By contrast, Boxofficemojo President Brandon Gray figures summer box office will be off 12 percent.
Others are quick to point out that a strong line-up of fall movies could still rescue the year. “I think fall is going to be exceptional this year, financially,” said David Poland at the Web site, Movie City News, citing upcoming films like November’s ” Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”
MAKE BETTER MOVIES
Industry watchers cite many reasons for weaker ticket sales — competition from video games, the narrowing of time between a film playing in theaters and on DVD, and Internet piracy — but the one factor that seems to outweigh all the others is that some of this summer’s films lack a fresh appeal.
“We can all try to blame the closing window of DVD and all that, but you see the movies that are really distinctive still going out and doing really well,” said Mark Gill, president of Warner Independent Pictures, which released surprise summer hit nature documentary “March of the Penguins.”
Films like “Batman Begins” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” were often mentioned as two films that won fans with fresh takes on tried-and-true Hollywood formulas.
Roger Birnbaum, co-founder of Spyglass Entertainment which had modest spring success, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” said some summer releases were “a little tired.”
Birnbaum said Spyglass, which is behind fall films “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “The Legend of Zorro,” will not change the way it develops or makes movies just because of one bumpy summer.
In recent years, difficult times at box offices would be offset by the booming DVD market where studios would recoup their investment and profit from films. But there are signs that DVD growth may be slowing, too.
Earlier this week, Bob Iger, the incoming chief executive of The Walt Disney Co, said industrywide DVD sales were about the same this summer as last. But because the number of homes owning DVD players had risen, the average number of sales per home had fallen, he said.
“One thing is clear, consumer choice is increasing, making quality … content more important than ever,” he said.
I had a feeling the media was making the slump out to worse than it actually is. I mean it isn’t a great summer for films but its not terrible. And the same thing has happened before where the studios have made a lot of their money back from the fall.
Hopefully things look up from the lackluster sales this summer.
PS I’m sure its mostly my fault since I haven’t been seeing too many movies recently.