2014 Moviegoing in North America Lowest in 20 Years

     January 2, 2015


I hope you have a Happy New Year, and that it’s filled with plenty of movies.  Movie theaters would prefer that those movies come from within their auditoriums because according to THR, last year’s admissions were the lowest in twenty years.  Preliminary estimates state that 1.26 billion people purchased tickets for a movie theater between the first and last day of 2014.  That’s the lowest number since 1995, and only slightly ahead of 1994.  To be fair, this isn’t a radical plunge since admissions fell to 1.28 billion people in 2011, although THR notes that this will be the biggest year-over-year decline in nine years with box office slipping six percent from 2013.

So why did fewer people show up to the movies last year?  Hit the jump for more.

transformers-age-of-extinction-poster-dinobotsAccording to THR, underperforming movies are to blame, especially when compared to previous installments.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 didn’t do as well as their predecessors, and the year’s highest grossing performer was the “risky” Guardians of the Galaxy, which has earned $332 million to date.

It’s important to remember that domestic box office totals are a barometer of success, not the totality of it.  With the amount of money poured into ballooning budgets in addition to marketing campaigns, studios need to make their money not from the U.S., but from overseas and merchandise.  Transformers may have “underperformed” in the U.S., but it has grossed over $1 billion worldwide, which is why Paramount will keep making them.

Nevertheless, domestic box office is expected to hit $10.4 billion for the year, which is less than 2013 ($10.9 billion) and 2012 ($10.8 billion), but more than 2011 ($10.17 billion).

While 2014 may not have been the box office boon studios were hoping for, 2015 promises to be a banner year with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, Jurassic World, Minions, and even Fifty Shades of Grey, because you can never underestimate the power softcore porn.

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