Archive for the ‘2008’ Category

MPAA, Average Ticket Price, And The Recession: Theater Statistics for 2008.

April 1, 2009

The MPAA just released their annual Theatrical Stats Report. The document is pretty fascinating. It’s filled with the typical blurbs about how healthy and thriving the film industry is, and based on the whopping 9% increase in attendance so far this year, it’s tough to argue with them. Maybe the recession is exactly what Hollywood needed to buck the trend of decreasing attendance and increased ticket price, but we all know ticket prices are not going anywhere but up. All that’s clear right now is that the recession is hurting almost everyone, but not Hollywood. Escapist entertainment is thriving. Here are the most interesting facts from the press release, which you can download and read in its entirety here:

-The average ticket price in 2008 was $7.18, an increase of 4.4% of 2007’s average ticket price of $6.88. Ticket price has increased by $2.10 over the last decade.

-There were 1.364 billion admissions in 2008, down 2.6% from 2007. In the last decade, 2002 has the most admissions, with a whopping 1.597 billion.

-Overall box office revenue hit an all-time high last year with $9.791 billion, an increase of 1.7% over 2007.

-Worldwide box office for increased 5.2% in 2008 to reach another historic high, at $28.1 billion, compared to $26.7 billion in 2007. International box office ($18.3 million) made up 65% of the worldwide total, while domestic – the U.S. and Canada ($9.8 billion) made up 35%.

-There are currently 6,269 theaters in the United States, which is pretty much flat with the year before. Within those theaters, there are 40,194 screens, 5,474 of which are digital screens. This is big 33% increase in digital screens in 2008.

Any of these statistics surprise you? I think its all pretty amazing, but hey, I’m a movie geek. Let me know what you’re thinking in the comments!

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Who’s To Blame: The Internet Or The Recession? DVD Sales Down In ’08

January 6, 2009

Amazon.com Widgets

Boy, the recession is truly upon us, and the DVD figures are showing it. Unfortunately, while there are still a lot of people are buying DVD’s, the number of DVD’s sold in 2008 was down substantially. Via Variety:

Final year-end results won’t start to trickle in for a few more days, but there’s little doubt that homevid spending ended down for the year. The vid biz is famously squishy about its sales figures, but all indicators point to a second consecutive decline, with Blu-ray gains unable to make up for declining DVD sales throughout the year.

The last available figures show DVD sales 5%-6% behind 2007 levels. Blu-ray sales jumped fourfold, making up a couple percentage points of the DVD deficit. Overall disc sales are expected to end 3%-4% below 2007’s $15.38 billion tally when the last disc sales for 2008 are calculated.

According to one home video executive, “As far as I’m concerned, down is the new flat and flat is the new up.” Hah! I don’t think that the DVD industry needs to worry too much, as I’d attribute most of this decline to people penny-pinching in these tough economic times. But there are other factors in play here, too, which could be contributing to the decline.

What kind of “factors” am I talking about? Why, that thing that makes the world go round: the internet! As online content on YouTube continues to get better, and made-for-internet productions like Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (Amazon.com Exclusive) attract lots of traffic, people are finding that they don’t necessarily need to go to the theater to be entertained. You know, times are a changin’, and there is simply more entertainment available for people to consume. Look at TV- network television ratings are way down this season, but internet programming and cable are thriving. People are moving beyond ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, and finding quality programming on cable and the web. The same sort of trend is happening in music, movies, and journalism as well, which is why print magazines that really invested in their websites years ago (like EW), are reaping all the benefits now.

You see, it’s not that people are taking in less entertainment. It’s how they’re taking in this entertainment that’s shifting. The movie industry needs to hurry up, and come to terms with the fact that the internet is quickly democratizing this industry, and if they want to keep their edge, they better start laying down a solid online infrastructure. I have a feeling that if they don’t, it could bit them in the butt down the road. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, Hollywood.

So which do you think caused the decline in DVD sales: our hyper-distracted, internet-obsessed, ADD culture, or the current recession? Most likely, I think it’s a little of both.

2008 Attendance And Average Ticket Price

January 6, 2009

Need some more proof of ticket inflation? Need further findings that less people are going to the movies? Here you go:

In 2008
Domestic Box Office: $9.61 billion
Attendance (Total Ticket’s Sold): 1.34 billion
Average Ticket Price: $7.08

In 2007
Domestic Box Office: $9.63 billion
Attendance (Total Ticket’s Sold): 1.4 billion
Average ticket price: $6.88

2008 vs. 2007
Total Box Office Down -.06%
Attendance Down -3.8%
Ticket Price +2.9%

I’m always amazed at how low the average ticket price is compared to what I have to pay for a ticket! And trust me, I have it a lot better than people in the big city. I usually pay $9.00 to go see a movie, so I would happily take the average ticket price over my usual one. How much do you have to pay for a ticket at your home theater? Do rising ticket costs ever keep you out of the theater?

The Top Ten Box Office Stars (Allegedly)

January 6, 2009

Each year, the Quigley Publishing Company conducts a poll to answer the question: Who are the top ten box office draws? Via Quigley’s website:

“The Quigley Poll, conducted each year since 1932, is an annual survey of motion picture theatre owners and film buyers, which asks them to vote for the ten stars that they believe generated the most box-office revenue for their theatres during the year. Long regarded as one of the most reliable indicators of a Star’s real box-office draw because the selections are done by people whose livelihood depends on choosing the films that will bring audiences to their theatres.”

Normally, I’m not a huge fan of these generic “End of the Year Top Ten” lists, but the above explanation shows that this is not just a list founded on emotion and trendiness- it’s founded on economic viability, as concluded by the collective group of theater owners. Plus, the poll does hold a certain degree of authority, since it’s been published in the International Motion Picture Almanac for the past 77 years. So without further ado, here’s the list of stars, along with the 2008 films in which they starred:

1. Will Smith (Hancock, Seven Pounds)
2. Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, Tropic Thunder)
3. Christian Bale (The Dark Knight)
4. Shia LaBeouf (Indiana Jones; New York, I Love You; Eagle Eye)
5. Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones)
6. Adam Sandler (Don’t Mess With The Zohan, Bedtime Stories)
7. Reese Witherspoon (Four Christmases)
8. George Clooney (Leatherheads, Burn After Reading)
9. Angelina Jolie (Kung Fu Panda – voice, Changeling, Wanted)
10. Daniel Craig (Quantum Of Solace, Defiance)

I think that the list is pretty accurate overall, though I would question how much drawing power Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig actually have. I’m more inclined to give the edge in drawing power to Indiana Jones and James Bond over the actors who play them. Yes, they each had a blockbuster that came out this year that made a ton of money, but their stars definitely didn’t make big hits out of 2006’s Firewall ($48 million), or 2007’s The Golden Compass ($70 million vs. its $205 million budget) and The Invasion ($15 million). Sometimes you can be in many successful films, but not be a huge draw in your own right- just ask Elizabeth Banks. In fact, if you look only at raw box office numbers, you know who the biggest star of this entire decade is? Stan Lee.

What about you? Who is your personal box office draw? Mine is definitely Ryan Gosling- I’ve been a total convert ever since I saw him in Lars And The Real Girl.

Film=Fashion? The Top DVD Sales Of 2008

January 5, 2009

Hey there fellow box office junkies! In the last few years, DVD sales have become a major factor in determining a film’s financial success. Between the production budget, actors’ salaries, and the prints-and-advertising costs, movies simply cost a ton of money to create. Often a movie doesn’t even see any profit based on its initial box office. According to Edward Jay Epstein, who wrote the tremendously insightful book The Big Picture: Money and Power in Hollywood, a modern film’s theatrical run is a lot like a fashion show.

You see, a fashion show is not an immediately profitable venture for a clothing company. Between the lights, the fabric, the confetti, the seats, the clothes, the shoes, the crew, the tentspace, and the models, they’re really expensive affairs! When a company throws a fashion show, it actually costs them money instead of earning them money. So why do they even exist? Because it is the results of a fashion show that earn a designer money. The runway is simply the showcase for all the merchandising that will occur afterwards. It acts as a giant commercial for the sale of the designer’s products. The money comes later. The same thing is occurring at the box office.

Now, this isn’t quite an exact parallel to the movie industry. After all, movies can earn substantial profits from their theatrical runs (their fashion shows). But the comparison does hold some water. Between DVD sales and rentals, product placements, merchandise, and sale to television companies, modern films often make much more money outside the theater than they do inside the theater. (Merchandise is such a big factor, that even toy company Hot Wheels is pursuing a film!) If you need an example, take a movie like 2004’s The Notebook. It earned a solid $81 million during its theatrical run, but has earned well over $200 million in rental fees and $150 million in DVD sales! That means the romantic film earned over four times as much money out of the theater than it did in its initial theatrical run. Obviously, we’re in a new era of Hollywood.

That was kind of a long (but interesting, right?) preamble to the main point of this post, which is the Top Selling DVD’s of 2008, so I’ll get to the point. In 2008, people bought a lot of DVD units, and studios made a lot of money on the home market. Proving for the umpteenth time that families are the big spenders in the film industry, there are no less than 18 family titles in the Top 50, and there are five family films in the Top Ten. Proving for the umpteenth time that people love big-budget action/superhero movies, those titles make up pretty much everything else. Of course, there’s the occasional Mamma Mia! or Step Brothers in there, but family or action is pretty much the chart. Also of note, take a look at Sex And The City – The Movie‘s units sold vs. total revenue. HBO overprices everything! And How insanely impressive is it that The Dark Knight tops the chart in just three weeks? That performance is so incredible, I’ll forgive Batman for just barely keeping my favorite little robot, Wall-E, out of the top spot. Here are the results:

The 50 Top Selling DVD’s Of 2008
Rank Movie Title Units Sold Total Revenue Release Date
1 Dark Knight, The 10,300,870 $215,715,802 12/9/2008
2 WALL-E 10,153,664 $175,451,924 11/18/2008
3 Iron Man 9,408,533 $174,955,826 9/30/2008
4 Kung Fu Panda 8,431,318 $139,126,669 11/9/2008
5 I am Legend 6,444,666 $116,519,064 3/18/2008
6 Alvin and the Chipmunks 5,972,091 $100,468,536 4/1/2008
7 Indiana Jones and the
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
5,964,704 $124,625,475 10/14/2008
8 National Treasure – Book of Secrets 5,900,779 $94,069,136 5/20/2008
9 Chronicles of Narnia:
Prince Caspian, The
5,015,199 $82,746,127 12/2/2008
10 Hancock 5,012,362 $100,367,749 11/25/2008
11 Enchanted 4,964,380 $79,510,141 3/18/2008
12 Bee Movie 4,594,120 $73,808,995 3/11/2008
13 American Gangster 4,476,418 $75,033,673 2/19/2008
14 Sex and the City – The Movie 4,287,264 $88,766,856 9/23/2008
15 Tinker Bell 4,078,040 $64,081,876 10/28/2008
16 Incredible Hulk, The 3,960,331 $84,043,274 10/21/2008
17 Mamma Mia! 3,577,246 $74,782,328 12/16/2008
18 Wanted 3,435,979 $71,243,816 12/2/2008
19 Horton Hears a Who! 3,108,453 $54,420,779 12/9/2008
20 Juno 2,988,963 $51,029,656 4/15/2008
21 Sleeping Beauty 2,890,542 $46,368,005 9/9/2003
22 Game Plan, The 2,852,284 $48,825,015 1/22/2008
23 Tropic Thunder 2,840,556 $57,058,767 11/18/2008
24 101 Dalmatians 2,827,132 $44,948,992 11/9/1999
25 3:10 to Yuma 2,808,537 $54,522,425 1/8/2008
26 No Country for Old Men 2,750,376 $46,948,649 3/11/2008
27 Snow Buddies 2,654,515 $50,062,371 2/5/2008
28 Hellboy 2: The Golden Army 2,654,088 $55,782,361 11/11/2008
29 Step Brothers 2,595,575 $47,767,159 12/2/2008
30 27 Dresses 2,560,187 $40,894,562 4/29/2008
31 Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Beginning, The 2,430,459 $41,444,398 8/26/2008
32 Bucket List, The 2,186,083 $36,798,443 6/10/2008
33 Get Smart 2,088,251 $38,209,460 11/4/2008
34 Golden Compass, The 2,018,894 $42,834,950 4/29/2008
35 Saw IV 2,010,917 $34,311,442 1/22/2008
36 Beowulf 1,951,720 $36,871,342 2/26/2008
37 Resident Evil – Extinction 1,909,609 $36,192,295 1/1/2008
38 Rambo 1,898,950 $41,213,957 5/27/2008
39 Jumper 1,882,089 $36,030,571 6/10/2008
40 Cloverfield 1,877,353 $30,323,342 4/22/2008
41 Journey to the Center of the Earth 1,804,842 $31,877,345 10/28/2008
42 Sweeney Todd – The Demon
Barber of Fleet Street
1,798,887 $36,219,378 4/1/2008
43 10,000 B.C. 1,785,562 $31,738,235 6/24/2008
44 Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? 1,682,802 $31,174,863 2/12/2008
45 21 1,620,028 $29,569,381 7/22/2008
46 Transformers 1,619,130 $26,941,526 10/16/2007
47 P.S., I Love You 1,597,085 $25,880,737 5/6/2008
48 Good Luck Chuck 1,591,282 $28,281,694 1/15/2008
49 Fred Claus 1,585,400 $27,550,604 11/25/2008
50 Water Horse – Legend of the Deep 1,560,263 $30,061,385 4/8/2008
All Numbers From Nash Information Services via The-Numbers


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