Experts are projecting that 2017 could see box office attendance hitting a 25-year low. With the widening world of TV and online streaming offering so many alternatives to the traditional cinematic experience, it’s easy to point fingers when predictions like this come to light. Some would argue that ‘franchise fatigue’ has something to do with it, as well.
This news follows hot on the heels of the revelation that the cinematic summer of 2017 brought in $3.57 billion. That may sound like a lot, but it’s actually 15.7% less than the summer of 2016, marking the largest summer-to-summer decline in modern times. Films such as Alien: Covenant and The Mummy been labeled as flops, while the likes of Wonder Woman and Annabelle: Creation have enjoyed some summer success. The jury is still out on whether War for the Planet of the Apes qualifies as a hit.
And now, The Wrap is stating that these weak summer numbers could do serious damage to 2017’s overall box office total. Late-in-the-year releases like Thor: Ragnarok, Justice League and Star Wars: The Last Jedi will have to do massive business to get 2017’s total anywhere near the $11.3 billion that was made at the box office in 2016. And even if those films do well and bring the year up to $11 billion, the number of actual tickets sold could still mark a historic low.
Per The Wrap, even if 2017 reaches $11 billion, “the number of tickets sold this year could drop as low as 1.22 billion. That figure would be the lowest since 1992, according to Box Office Mojo. The estimated ticket total is calculated by dividing the total annual revenue against the national average movie ticket price, which Mojo has set at $8.89, up from $8.65 last year.”
Ticket prices are rising, lots of films are underperforming, and 2017’s last hope lies with major end-of-the-year releases. It looks a lot like a dark time for cinema, then. Are studio execs expecting audiences to fork out their hard earned cash for a few too many franchise films per year? Perhaps more imaginative and fresh ideas – let’s not forget the huge success of Get Out - would help pump those numbers up.
However, although the words “lowest since 1992” sound scary, ticket sales have slumped before, and Hollywood always bounces back. 2018 has Avengers: Infinity War in April, Han Solo in May and Deadpool 2 in June – those presumably huge hits could easily quell this talk of cinema failing financially, for the time being at least.
Source: The Wrap