The Associated Press reports that "Summer 2005 was the worst since 1997 for movie attendance, which dropped sharply and rattled the complacency of studios. For the 18 weeks from early May through Labor Day, domestic movie grosses are expected to total $3.6 billion, down 9 percent from summer revenues of $3.96 billion last year, according to box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. Attendance figures are even bleaker. Factoring in higher admission prices, the number of movie tickets sold should come in around 562.5 million, down 12 percent from summer 2004."
Why? Lots of reasons.
"Some movies did score big, but the overall downturn lingered and then worsened, prompting gloom-and-doom predictions that audiences were growing tired of rising ticket prices, concession stand costs, pre-show advertising and other movie theater hassles.
"With so many other entertainment choices -- video games, limitless TV programming, home-theater setups -- audiences may be edging away from moviehouses.
"In an Associated Press-AOL News poll in June, nearly three-fourths of adults said they would prefer to stay home and watch movies on DVD, videotape or pay-per-view rather than traipse to a theater. Almost half said they think movies are getting worse."