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Hollywood is Suffering Its Worst-attended Summer Movie Season in 25 years ( 501

The number of movie tickets sold in the U.S. this summer (425 million) is likely to be the lowest level since 1992, the L.A. Times reports. "Theaters, studios hit by summer box-office blues." The reason: Too many bad movies, including sequels, reboots and aging franchises that no one wanted to see. Some point to rising ticket prices, which hit a record high in the second quarter. From the report: Then there are long-term challenges, including competition from streaming services such as Netflix and the influence of the movie review site Rotten Tomatoes. How about all of the above? What is clear: This summer was marred with multiple high-profile films that flopped stateside, including "The Mummy," "Baywatch," "The Dark Tower" and "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword." Sequels in the "Alien," "Transformers" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchises also disappointed. The business is also reckoning with broader, longer-term threats that have kept Americans from flocking to theaters the way they used to. People now have more entertainment options than ever, and cinemas have struggled to keep up, despite efforts to adapt with improved technology and services, industry analysts say. The problem is exacerbated by an unforgiving social media environment in which bad movies are immediately punished by online word of mouth.
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Hollywood is Suffering Its Worst-attended Summer Movie Season in 25 years

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  • I can't be arsed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @08:05PM (#55119761)
    to go pay $15 dollars to watch a movie meant primarily for the Chinese. Start making movies for America again and I might show up. And that means more complex plots and dialog (which are harder to dub) few or no foreign product placements (which make no sense and break the movie flow even worse than regular product placements) and stop randomly including Chinese actors (I'm lookin' at you Rogue One).

    Hollywood stopped making movies for me so I stopped going. Go figure.
    • by ph0rk ( 118461 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @08:27PM (#55119863)
      Donnie Yen was probably the best thing in Rogue One. What are you smoking?
    • go pay $15 dollars to watch a movie meant primarily for the Chinese.

      I don't think they are meant primarily for the Chinese. Personally, I can't be bothered watching most of these things, but for me it is because they are still just run-of-the-mill Hollywood stuff; they have simply run out of inspiration long ago, full stop. That is why they keep targeting the younger audiences - children have yet to numb to the emptiness of what they are watcing. That, and the ongoing trend towards manga-style storylines with sketchy characters and stylized, on/off displays of emotion.

  • by thesjaakspoiler ( 4782965 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @08:06PM (#55119769)
    thinking why the heck TV-series were more interesting than the movies....
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      thinking why the heck TV-series were more interesting than the movies....

      I started dating a new girl a month ago. We have been wanting to go out for a movie for some time now. Not a single movie has been interesting enough that we didn't just decide to do something else. Movies are so bad we'd rather walk in the Florida heat & rain. Now that's saying something!

  • They don't care (Score:4, Interesting)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @08:11PM (#55119793) Journal
    As long as the international box office makes up the difference, the studios won't care if the American box office slides.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think you will find American box offices sales have creative accounting so offshore untaxed profits can be hoovered up Apple style.

      The recent CGI and superhero gunk combined with teenage characters has left me pissed off - so getting my money is gunna be harder for the same tripe, Just wait till 80 inch TV sets are the norm - that will slow growth too.

      I also think rest of world sales will be heading down if wages don't rise soon, and that tourists make up most watchers in places like Cambodia and Thailan

  • Maybe (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Perhaps we're tired of actors political bullshit.
  • Wrong Script (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Art Challenor ( 2621733 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @08:12PM (#55119805)
    This cannot possibly be the fault of the studios/movie makers. The obvious problem is illegal downloading and something about Amazon, YouTube, Netflix,or somebody not paying their fair share for legal downloads.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, 2017 @08:36PM (#55119911)

      The new copy protection scheme has worked. They made movies so shitty I won't even download them. They would have to pay me to watch them.

    • I looked at the Netflix top releases...and every single one looked like a chore. The movies looked as appealing to me as mopping floors. I'm only one person, but free was still to costly for me.

  • by ArylAkamov ( 4036877 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @08:14PM (#55119813)

    Reboots of reboots have stopped selling out?
    I'm shocked. Shocked!
    At this rate, they might have to invest in new IP instead of beating the dead descendants of a long dead horse.

  • by homes32 ( 1265404 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @08:14PM (#55119815)
    Love how they try to pin their failure on social media. Point in fact: Your movies sucked. Just because we can now tell people quickley and en mass how badly they sucked does not chamge the fact. Why should hollywood be rewarded by paying customers for producing trash?
  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @08:17PM (#55119827) Homepage
    "The Mummy" This will be the fifth or sixth movie with the same plot, but different cast. we skipped the FX budget and hoped no one would notice, which did a great job exposing our shoddy subplot and writing.
    "Baywatch": this show ran for 12 years as a surrogate for softcore porn on basic cable/rabbit ears. in 2017 the plot and dialogue of this had better be great, otherwise the internets vast troves of adult content have crushed it before its even left the gate. the characters are, at best, totally untranslatable to millennials saddled with debt and ramen noodles.
    "The Dark Tower": What was this even about? character development died in the first 3 minutes (remember suicide squad?) but the whole movie worked tirelessly to complete the vision of a parking lot full of squirrels. This was a stephen king novel that was an excellent example of story telling but was, surprise, butchered by hacks to fit 90 minutes.
    "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.": I know ill probably get crucified for saying this on slashdot but this died because it only related to white people who walk into a nation themed restaraunt and start quoting the noble percentage of "heritage" from which they draw themselves. Black heimdal, black spiderman, hispanic blue beetle, see a trend? its called reading the demographic properly. This film was basically lifted from the Disney ride by a baby boomer exec at a studio trying desperately to purge him from the ranks.
    "Alien," "Transformers" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" this is the sixth alien, the sixth transformers, and the fifth in the pirates series. Hollywood needs to learn that the cash cow for millennial audiences dies after #1 for films written at the 4th grade comprehension level. Watching Mark Wahlburg cash another check for something that looks scripted on the toilet, or Johnny Depp show up in another $pirate_film because he either picked up the phone or has poor retirement planning is something boomers do.

    tl;dr: the largest demographic youre trying to attract expects a little diversity, better scripting, and higher quality for an $11 ticket they could just skip and watch whenever it shows up on netflix when we're too stoned or bored to play steam games.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, 2017 @08:44PM (#55119949)

      Black heimdal, black spiderman, hispanic blue beetle, see a trend? its called reading the demographic properly.

      Or, maybe the blackening of older traditionally white characters instead of just inventing new cool black characters is what turned people off? Everyone knows 2016 was the seminal year for black cinema. []

    • The Dark Tower was literally just a setup for the shitty TV series they're planning.

      • I read the Gunslinger series more than once; a multi-year series could actually stand a chance of doing it justice if HBO or Netflix was running it.
        • LOL, have you seen what they've done to Game of Thrones. HBO are overrated garbage. I wouldn't count on Netflix, either. They've got plenty of stinkers to their credit.

          • Well compared to CBS they're both pure genius is I guess the point I was trying for, at least that's what the bourbon is now telling me.
  • Other Factors (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sehlat ( 180760 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @08:20PM (#55119843)

    1. Aging population. I'm "hearing-challenged" and the subtitles in theaters are horrible, hard to read, and NEVER at the same focal distance as the screen. These days if a movie doesn't have subtitles on the DVD, I don't bother. My family has to drag me to a theater, where I miss at least half of the dialogue.

    2. Discretionary income: It's dropping. Real wages have been dropping for decades. Add in how many young people are burdened with student debts and s**t jobs, and it's easier to avoid theaters and stay home.

    • Not sure what movies you're seeing, but I literally bought sound reducing earplugs because of how agonizing it was to view Dr. Strange without hearing protection.

  • by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @08:24PM (#55119849) Journal

    The accountants are trying to work out the problem.

  • People will go to see movies if they don't stink like smegma.
  • I only watched a single movie (Dunkirk) this summer, mostly because almost every other major movie release was a:

    1) Squeal from a movie franchise that I've lost interest in
    2) Reboot of a movie franchise that I've lost interest in, possibly because I'm old enough to have seen the original movie back when it was... well... Original.
    3) Was yet another comic book movie (Do we really need more than 3 of these a year?)

  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @08:30PM (#55119881)

    So I took Christopher Nolan's advice [] and saw Dunkirk at an IMAX this summer.

    Nolan's Cinematic Vision in 'Dunkirk' is Hollywood's Best Defense Against Netflix.
    He also wants you watch the movie in the theatre, and not on streaming service Netflix, which he says he rarely uses.

    There wasn't an IMAX close by so I had to take a hour ferry -- no big deal because I get to visit a good friend of mine. After paying for parking the dam theater entrance was on the back side of the building -- a 5 minute walk. OK, but this is "nickeling and diming" both literally and in travel time is starting to getting annoying. I then wander around for 10 minutes because some fucktard couldn't be arsed to put up a "Dunkirk" sign. They had a sign for another movie -- but that wasn't playing. And of course I go to the OTHER theater just to double check it wasn't playing there and of course it wasn't so back to the _first_ theater. ARGH.

    So with less then 5 minutes to spare I finally get a seat -- except it is near the Left edge of the theaters. Could be worse and I could be looking up.

    Except the "movie experience" is SHIT compared to home theater.

    * There was literally 20 fucking minutes of ads
    * Now I love _clean_ bass except the whole time this loud, booming bass was drowning out everything.

    Dunkirk was visually beautiful -- but I could have had a far BETTER experience on my 60" plasma at home.

    Movie Theaters SUCK compared to home theaters. Advantages are:

    * I always get the best set in the house
    * I always get to use the arm rest
    * Can pause the movie
    * Can rewind the parts I want in case I missed something or want to check something out
    * Go to the bathroom
    * Raid the fridge for snacks/drinks instead of over-paying for food
    * Turn on/off CC
    * Adjust the volume to MY liking
    * Don't have to listen to any idiots beside me constantly talking / snoring throughout the entire movie.

    Fuck Movie Theaters -- they SUCK.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I modded you up so posting AC, lets not also forget

      *Asshats with celphones
      *Blurry picture, especially when the entire scene changes rapidly in one of the axis
      *Audio Bleedover, cause that thin wall tween you and the other amusement park rides surrounding you kills the mood
      *The rush in and rush out

      The only pro I can think about the movie theater for me is the fact there is a good Mexican restaurant next door so one can get hammered, walk over and have a couple hours to sober up

    • by LesFerg ( 452838 )

      Recently had 2 female student air-heads talking and sharing phone views with each other all the way thru a movie. Eventually I got annoyed enough to tell them, loudly, that it was considered polite to stay quiet during the movie and talk about shit afterwards, to which the rest of the theater clapped and cheered.
      Shouldn't have to do this tho. Young people today have no clue....

    • Is that the same Christopher Nolan who decided to make the actors in Interstellar mumble because "I know that what they're saying at that point isn't important to the plot so it's not necessary for you to understand them".

      I'm glad I waited for it on Amazon - after the fifth time rewinding to try making out what was being said I turned on subtitles.

      First, he assumes that we know what's being said isn't important, because he knows the script inside out. Instead we're left wondering if we missed an something i

  • Forget attendance this year - the real indicator of the hole they have dug is that I still subscribe to Netflix discs, and I no longer even have anything on *disc only* I really care about seeing. I have some throwaway drama and something about a spelling bee sitting at home, because a spelling bee is literally more engaging that what Hollywood has been producing over the last several years once you get past a handful of big titles.

    Maybe superhero movies have sucked all of the air (read: money) from the ro

  • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @08:34PM (#55119899)
    and wonder why butts don't hit seats. Combine that with assholes who talk during the movie, assholes who text during the movie, and overpriced popcorn/cokes. Let me spend $500 on a nice TV that not only satisfies my needs night after night, but if I wait a couple months I can get a couple friends over to my house for a $2 rental, plus $1 popcorn, plus $2 coke, plus, um, who did I invite? Call it $20 for booze, less if I charge me friends for staying in the guest room.

    The movie business is changing, news at 11.

    / my defining moment?
    // Driving Miss Daisy
    /// There were like, 5 of us in the theater, but a kid kept running up and down the aisle screaming the whole movie.
    • by Bing Tsher E ( 943915 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @09:45PM (#55120219) Journal

      We went to a movie last month and were running late. I had wanted to stop by at a McDonalds or somewhere and get a bit to eat before the picture.

      We decided instead to buy some snacks at the theatre. My S.O. did that while I got the tickets.

      She ended up buying us each a 'hot pretzel' and a bottle of water and a tub of popcorn for us to share.

      The 'hot pretzel' was a big mass of dough on a plate.

      After we got out of the theater I happened to notice the recipt for the 'food.' The Hot Pretzels were like $14 each, the bottled waters were $5, the popcorn was I think about $8. Anyhow the 'snacks' were over $45 for two people. Unbelievable here in flyover country to pay that much for so little.

  • by NewWorldDan ( 899800 ) <> on Thursday August 31, 2017 @08:35PM (#55119905) Homepage Journal

    I see two major problems:

    The low quality as addressed in TFA. Most of them weren't terrible, but they're not what anyone wanted. Good movies - Spider-man Homecoming, for example - did just fine. Reboots and sequels aren't inherently bad, if they're done well. Some have certainly used up whatever good will they had left.

    The other problem I'm seeing from a lot of people is oversupply. They've already watched everything on Netflix and Amazon and Hulu and HBO. They've gone to the buffet and eaten so much there's no appetite left. In the last decade, I've been given every superhero movie I could have possibly asked for. There isn't anything left to look forward to. Instead of watching movies, I'm doing other things, like making pottery. And waiting for something that's actually worth watching, like The Tick.

    In general, I suggest that studios once again become a little more selective about what they make, and most importantly, hire good writers. So much bad writing out there...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Add a complete lack of originality, plots aimed squarely at people whose brains have leaked out of their ears, and fellow audience members that match that description and think nothing of talking, making inane "funny" comments and using their phones the whole way through as well.

      Netflix et al have shown that there is a hunger for complex plots, character development and ambitious scope, but hollywood seems stuck putting out the same inexplicably expensive repetitive imbecility over and over and over again.

    • Some 30 years ago I went to see a movie, don't remember what. I was 30 something, had 2 teenage chix behind me who kept talking (this was the 80s). I shushed them a couple times, they didn't shut up, I got up and "accidently" spilled my drink right over the head of the one closest to the aisle. Kept walking out, listening to her cuss me out.
  • Politics (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    How about I'm disgusted by the behavior of the Hollywood "elite" since November 2016 ?

    Maybe that is why I am not going to the movies anymore.

    I'm not sure why Hollywood stars think that ANYONE in the world gives a shit about what they think regarding politics. They are nothing but entertainers. Anyone who DOES care what they think about politics should have their head examined.

    • Re:Politics (Score:4, Funny)

      by GumphMaster ( 772693 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @10:09PM (#55120305)

      I'm not sure why Hollywood stars think that ANYONE in the world gives a shit about what they think regarding politics

      It is exactly the same reason you think anyone in the world gives a shit about your opinion on politics. Political opinions are like arseholes: everybody has one, some people have two, and the people that speak best from the second are in politics.

  • by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @08:42PM (#55119931)

    Only movie I've seen in the theaters this year that I cared to see at all.

    Well developed plot. Good acting. Characters with backstory. Characters with motivation to do things. Well directed and scripted. Low key, not over the top action. Then there's the surrealism of seeing Kylo Ren and James Bond sneaking around a Nascar track wearing trucker hats.

    Of course, it only made $19 million at the box office. So it's not just awful movies taking a beating.

  • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @08:49PM (#55119973)
    Pretty much this. Last movie I saw in a theater? Return of the King. Second to last? The Two Towers.

    There is an exception, took dad to a Star wars movie 18 months ago on Christmas day. And remembered why I don't see movies with dad (last was Star Trek 4), he bitches and moans though the whole thing. "Transparent aluminum? No such thing!". "Leaving your ship in a public park? Someone will find it!". etc etc etc.
    br. Now that he has Alzheimer it's much worse. Better to rent the DVD and watch it on his impressive TV setup that he doesn't appreciate anymore.
    • Transparent aluminum is a thing. It's aluminium oxynitride, and is a transparent ceramic used for bulletproof windows and such. There's also plain old sapphire, which is crystalline aluminum oxide, and synthetic sapphire is often used in applications where durable transparent material is needed, such as the sturdy windows of supermarket checkout scanners (which need to withstand cans banging on them and such).

  • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @08:54PM (#55119989)

    at the theater was Logan. It was worth it, but I still got it again on netflix when it came out on DVD.
    Nothing has made me need to go to the movies in a long time.
    Sorry, it's just that ... the "experience" is dead. I used to buy CDs when they first came out too, and I can pinpoint when that stopped - Metallica's Load. I listened to it once, and threw it away. I have since found new music elsewhere, and have bought CDs directly from the band (e.g. Clutch) or direct download (e.g. Ben Prestage). I am not losing anything. Netflix fills my need for movies I want to see (DVD) or series through streaming.

    The movie industry is behind, and they don't get it. Just like the music industry didn't get it in the late 90s.

    I don't feel bad for them - why should I? They produce a product, and if I don't like it - much to their chagrin - I am not compelled to buy it.
    They are still making money through nefarious practices, they just haven't made as much as in the past. They just need to evolve or die.

  • I will literally drive 50 minutes and pay 17 bucks for a ticket at my favorite theater, but I only go out to watch 3d animated films. Those can really suck me into another world and it's worth it for me. Oh the joys of living in a rural area. But this summer....aside from Cars 3 there haven't been any at all that I know of. Except the emoji movie. I think the next film coming out that meets my criteria is the Nijago movie.

  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @09:18PM (#55120101) Journal
    Listen to the critics. Stop pushing for really positive reviews on social media to sell very average movies.
    Select scripts with more care so people in the USA can enjoy a movie.
    Find much better actors that more people actually enjoy seeing in a movie.
    Find actors on merit who test well with audiences for the needed role.
    That might be a new face or an actor thats been liked for decades. Test and see who would work well for a given role. Dont just place an actor in a role for some other reason.
    Find better funding so fun movies do not have to be altered to fit in with the history, faith or politics of other nations or groups.
    Sell the freedom and fun of Americana to the world. The USA has freedom of speech, sell that globally. Any other nation can do a boring censored movie.
    Stop trying to sell America and the world on very limited scripts.
    Consider mini series to fill out franchises with complex plots.
    If a new movies has hours of backstory to past movies to remove that would have been better as a series.
    People on average like a hero, fun and drama. Stop trying to push politics or placate the people providing the funds. Audiences want a story not a lecture for the price.
    If a script has to be censored, walk away from that funding.
    • Theaters really don't matter any more except when it can provide a truly engrossing experience.
      Good eye-candy or Amazing Audio are good reasons to see a film in a theater.
      Sometimes the movie might have a big twist, which makes it a reasonable choice for a early viewing.
      Or sometimes you want to support a franchise you enjoy, Firefly Movie #2 I'm talking about you.
      Otherwise I'll stream it when I feel like it.
      Pause it when nature calls. Pet the Dogs. Enjoy a beer.

      Movies are also simply being out-gunne
  • Even if one is watching a good movie, it is ruined most of the time by other obnoxious movie goers who won't stop talking, won't stop texting, bring their 5 year old kid who can't shut up to a midnight show of a PG13 movie, listen to music on their phone on speaker, and even smoke joints filling up the entire theater.

    All of the above are real situations I have encountered this year.

    My husband and myself normally watch one movie in the theater per week. It's extremely hard to justify doing so again.
    This used

  • They won't hafta cry about not being able to trick people into paying for a crappy movie, if they DIDN'T make crappy movies!

    Unfortunately, I foresee fake reviews rendering RT useless

  • Shitty movies . . .

  • It was to see Deadpool, and that was because my wife was really nagging me to go. Most of my "entertainment" time is sucked up by video games. Almost all my Neflix is stand up comedy. I just dont watch movies anymore. If movie tickets were still $5 maybe I would have gone to see the new Star Wars movies. But considering the price costs more than an indie game, no way I will go.
  • I last went to a movie, geez, when my kids were small (they're now 20+). We've thought about going since - you'd think having teenage kids would be a good reason - but...why? It's hard to see the attraction. In no particular order:

    - Why do I want to travel to a theater and sit next to a bunch of strangers, who may or may not be quiet, spend half the movie texting on their phones, etc..

    - I like the sound loud, but - geez - that was over the pain threshold. I came out with my ears ringing. At home, I can set

  • Batman, superman or Steve Austin? They haven't made this movie yet, have they? The last movie I saw was Avatar.
    • Remakes
    • Prequels
    • Sequels
    • Superhero films

    Enough already...

A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz