Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hollywood continues misfiring reports that attendance continues to slide for Hollywood movies this summer with a projection of 543 million tickets sold, the lowest number since 1997 when 540 million paid at the local cineplex. That’s now four consecutive summers with declining attendance. But revenue will be higher – projected at $4.38 billion domestically or one per cent - only because of increased ticket prices. .....A New York Times analysis of movie attendance showed that big name stars seem to be losing their appeal. Johnny Depp still attracted moviegoers in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. But Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks failed to garner audience for Larry Crowne. Jim Carrey also couldn’t pack them in for Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig didn’t stir the masses for Cowboys & Aliens.....Sure there were big hits but only a few such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and some superhero movies such as Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor. Thank goodness. Because prior to these lighting up the silver screen box office attendance had been down 20 per cent for the first quarter.....Meanwhile, wonder why H’wood keeps making bland sequels like Kung Fu Panda 2 and Disney-Pixar’s Cars 2? It’s because of the international market. Those emerging countries' filmgoers like those in China and Russia don’t frequent the movies as much as N. American audiences and are therefore less jaundiced. Said’s Phil Contrino, “America used to set the course – if a movie disappointed here, then it was done. That’s simply not the case anymore. America is just another territory now.”.....The two biggest summer bombs were Cowboys & Aliens and Green Lantern losing at least $100 million.....Of popular movie themes crude comedies ruled the hot summer days and nights. These included Bridemaids, Bad Teacher, and Horrible Bosses. But the Change-Up – which had an opening scene of a baby defecating into Jason Bateman’s mouth (thanks guys!) lost about $12 million......And surprise, surprise, H’wood found out the hard way that when it makes sophisticated adult movies audiences will come out in droves. The Help has garnered $122 million and Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris (poster above) – a true delight – took in $53 mil.

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