Film-Tech Cinema Systems
Film-Tech Forum

my profile | my password | search | faq & rules | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » 2011 Summer Movie Attendance Was the Lowest Since 1997

Author Topic: 2011 Summer Movie Attendance Was the Lowest Since 1997
System Notices
Forum Watchdog / Soup Nazi

Posts: 215

Registered: Apr 2004

 - posted 09-07-2011 03:54 PM      Profile for System Notices         Edit/Delete Post 
2011 Summer Movie Attendance Was the Lowest Since 1997


With Labor Day behind us and school back in session, summer in the US is officially over, at least from a cultural perspective. So it’s time to tally the box-office receipts from what has been the biggest movie season over the past thirty years.

The good news? Revenue is up from last year. The bad news: revenue is up by less than one percent. More troubling: after taking into account that a good portion of the overall revenue came from inflated 3D prices, analysts reveal that attendance was actually down this year. about 543 million tickets were sold this summer, which is the lowest number since 1997′s famous summer of 540 million tickets. (OK, perhaps not so famous.) But wait, there’s more! 2011 is the fourth consecutive year f dwindling summer movie attendance.

The New York Times presents the numbers, saying that second-quarter ticket sales (which accommodate that earlier summer season push we’ve talked about a few times) were down a massive 20% from last year, and overall sales are down 4%. The Times doesn’t have much in-depth analysis, but points to a few key facts:

1. Three huge franchises (Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter) were responsible for the summer’s biggest box-office takes, with each film in those franchises earning more than a billion dollars globally. Another, newer franchise, The Hangover, earned its stripes. Or bought them. ‘Earned’ is the wrong word.

2. A film like the fourth Pirates aside, star power isn’t enough to drive people to shitty movies. Viz: Green Lantern, Larry Crowne, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Cowboys & Aliens and Zookeeper.

3. Movies with good word of mouth did well: Bridesmaids, X-Men: First Class, Thor, Captain America, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Perhaps that should be amended to ‘better than expected word of mouth,’ as this summer could have been the year of Films that Exceeded Diminished Expectations. Bad Teacher and Horrible Bosses performed well, too.

The Times does not mention one of the biggest box-office anomalies of 2011: Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, a ‘strong word of mouth’ movie if ever there was one, which became a runaway success on its own small scale. The film has earned $50m domestic and just shy of $100m worldwide. Not a patch on Harry Potter, but still a massive success for Woody, and a refutation for the argument that older audiences won’t go out to the theater. They just won’t go see Cowboys & Aliens.

Fox head Tom Rothman, of all people, says,

The lesson for us is that different and original is always hard and always a risk but has great upside. While both of those films had genetic material in common with their original franchises, both were very, very original pieces.

Two points to take away. One is obvious, the other perhaps not as much so. First, with the exception of shitty movies that have years of built-in franchise marketing, such as Transformers: Dark of the Moon, people might finally have too many other entertainment options to bother with bad movies. The continued erosion of the theater experience didn’t hurt, either. Why see a bad movie in a crappy environment? If I get a root canal, at least my mouth feels better afterward.

The other fact, which is contingent upon our disinterest in shitty movies, is the diminished status of the US as a prime movie marketplace. China and Russia are becoming ticket-purchasing powerhouses. (China is still quite restrictive when it comes to giving prime berths to foreign films, which is why we’re seeing more US-Chinese co-productions.) In other words: people in other countries can still, somehow, be conned into seeing Green Lantern. Give it a year or two, and the rest of the world will

 |  IP: Logged

Greg Anderson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 766
From: Ogden Valley, Utah
Registered: Nov 1999

 - posted 09-07-2011 06:49 PM      Profile for Greg Anderson   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Anderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
...and the rest of the world will... do what? The suspense is killing me.

 |  IP: Logged

Ian Parfrey
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1049
From: Imbil Australia 26 deg 27' 42.66" S 152 deg 42' 23.40" E
Registered: Feb 2009

 - posted 09-07-2011 07:38 PM      Profile for Ian Parfrey   Email Ian Parfrey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"...still, somehow, be conned into seeing Green Lantern." [Big Grin]

 |  IP: Logged

Louis Bornwasser
Film God

Posts: 4441
From: prospect ky usa
Registered: Mar 2005

 - posted 09-07-2011 08:36 PM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My take on this years films: the TV shows were better! Makes we wish I saw a rerun instead. louis

 |  IP: Logged

Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8367
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004

 - posted 09-07-2011 11:40 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
..another 5% drop like last year in total boxoffice receipts?

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12767
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 09-09-2011 11:34 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I guess it depends on who you listen to. We got this press-release from NATO on Tuesday:

The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) today announced summer 2011 box office reached a new record of $4.4 billion. Summer admissions were up an estimated 1.0% over summer 2010 to 546 million. 2011 also marked the fifth consecutive summer in which box office revenues exceeded $4 billion. (Summer is defined as running from the first full weekend in May through Labor Day of each year.)

NATO president and CEO John Fithian stated, “In the midst of 9% unemployment and a continuing weak economy, it is striking that the movie theater industry can continue to grow revenues and admissions. Along with our distribution partners, movie theaters offer compelling entertainment in state-of-the-art facilities at reasonable prices. In a weak economy or strong, the movie theater remains the first and most affordable choice in out-of-home entertainment.”

 |  IP: Logged

Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2253
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004

 - posted 09-13-2011 04:33 AM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As is always the case, it's the movies more than anything else. If you recall, the summer of 2005 was absolutely awful and many were predicting the end of the movie theatre. Then the summer of 2006 came roaring back with record numbers.

The one factor that I think hurt this summer's box office was the studios putting so much emphasis on 3D while consumers were clearly opting out.

 |  IP: Logged

Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10973
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001

 - posted 09-13-2011 10:26 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I didn't bother seeing any movies at theaters at all this summer. This is certainly the first time I've completely missed a summer movie season during my adult years. For all I know it might be the first time in my life I ever did this. I can't remember any other summer without seeing at least one movie at a theater or drive-in.

It's not like I made a deliberate decision to avoid seeing movies at theaters. This year's slate of so-called summer movies was just so "been there, done that" I just never found the motivation to carve out time to go to the theater.

Even for the better received movies, such as The Help, Horrible Bosses and X-Men: First Class I still had that "well, I'll just rent it on Blu-ray" vibe.

I'm trying to remember the last movie I watched in the theater. I think it might have been Black Swan. I'm not sure.

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12767
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 09-14-2011 02:13 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Maybe it's just because you're getting older. Most people become more of a homebody the older they get.

That said ... this summer's movies left a lot to be desired for sure. We watched a few of them but there weren't any that I had much of a desire to see again.

 |  IP: Logged

Jean-Marc Toussaint
Film Handler

Posts: 60
From: Paris, France
Registered: May 2008

 - posted 09-14-2011 03:35 AM      Profile for Jean-Marc Toussaint   Author's Homepage   Email Jean-Marc Toussaint   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and "Captain America" were good surprises. We usually keep the films for one week (we have three screens) and we kept "Planet" for two. And we moved "Captain America" from our medium sized theatre to the larger one. The last three weeks, though, have been very quiet.

 |  IP: Logged

Jack Ondracek
Film God

Posts: 2348
From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002

 - posted 09-14-2011 04:36 PM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Captain America was a surprise here too, though we're in the middle of a military area, so maybe it shouldn't have beeen.

8 good weeks out of it.

6 weeks on "Apes" and still holding.

 |  IP: Logged

Ron Funderburg
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 814
From: Chickasha, Oklahoma, USA
Registered: Nov 2007

 - posted 09-17-2011 03:26 PM      Profile for Ron Funderburg   Author's Homepage   Email Ron Funderburg   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My box office is down this year mostly from summer not sure if we can creep back to last years record year or not. It will only be my second down year since I have been running here but I don't like down years!

 |  IP: Logged

All times are Central (GMT -6:00)  
   Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Powered by Infopop Corporation

The Film-Tech Forums are designed for various members related to the cinema industry to express their opinions, viewpoints and testimonials on various products, services and events based upon speculation, personal knowledge and factual information through use, therefore all views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this web site and the owners of said views assume no liability for any ill will resulting from these postings. The posts made here are for educational as well as entertainment purposes and as such anyone viewing this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion and agrees to release the authors from any and all liability.

© 1999-2020 Film-Tech Cinema Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.