Its worth the read.Has the movie business finally caught the bug bedeviling so much of the media business?
Movie theaters have largely been immune to the digital virus until now. Box office revenue has, for the most part, continued to grow, even as changing media consumption habits of younger Internet-raised audiences have crippled the music business and roiled the broadcast television industry.
But it looks like the film industry is exhibiting symptoms of the same disease that brought other media sectors to their knees.
Domestic attendance plunged 5 percent last year, and continues its decline in 2011.
According to one tracking firm, pre-release data measuring audience interest in the days leading up to the release of major films has consistently been down among moviegoers under the age of 25 this year.
Two key metrics, 'intent to see' and 'self-reported,' are down 10 percent since last year and 15 percent since 2009.
With box office revenue off 13 percent through the weekend, some studio executives are quietly pondering a new paradigm in which their market no longer grows. In fact, there is some concern that the looming specter of new media has suddenly reached a tipping point, similar to the fall 2003 TV season, when the broadcast networks experienced an abrupt and very discernable decline in young-male viewers -- a group that has, for the most part, never looked back.
"We had a meeting where we sat down and told everyone to take a deep breath -- we might have to acccept the fact that our year-over-year numbers might not look right again," one pessimistic studio executive told TheWrap.
Movie attendance has slumped before, but North American box office is in the midst of a prolonged decline, steadily dropping 23 percent in ticket sales since peaking at an all-time high of 1.57 billion in 2002, according to the Motion Picture Assn. of America (see MPAA chart above).
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
A very fascinating article from TheWrap.com on how box office revenue has been declining.
Posted by Kevin McKeever at 7:50 PM