A Disappointing Summer Box-Office

The Summer movie-going season is over. From the first weekend in May to Labor Day, box-office revenue is projected to total $4.38 billion – an increase less than 1% from last year says The New York Times.

One difference – 18 films were released in 3D this season compared with seven last Summer. The higher ticket prices for them driving all of the increase. In fact audience attendance for films this past Summer sits at 543 million, the lowest since 540 million people turned out in 1997.

This marks four consecutive summers of eroding attendance in a period which generally accounts for 40% of the film industry’s annual ticket sales.

While several films, including some of the biggest, had disappointing domestic box-office – many scored big returns internationally.

Update: The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) today have made an announcement of their own, claiming the gross came to $4.4 billion with 546 million in attendance. They also paint a rosier picture saying this is the fifth consecutive summer in which box office revenues exceeded $4 billion.