George Clooney’s The American rounded out the summer season with a modest take of $13 million for the weekend. It was followed by a long list of mediocre performances by mediocre movies. This has been an interesting summer with disappointing results. USA Today posted an insightful article to what happened and how the movie-going experience is changing.
How you view Hollywood’s summer movies depends largely on how you measure success.If you’re a dollars-and-cents fan, summer 2010 marked a new record for revenues, with $4.35 billion in ticket sales in the USA and Canada, according to Hollywood.com.
But if you measure the health of the industry by how many people actually go see movies, things aren’t so rosy. Attendance this summer was 552 million, the lowest total since 1997.
Hollywood didn’t help itself much with its slate this weekend, which went to George Clooney’s thriller The American with $16.4 million over the four-day holiday.
Though the movie met its modest expectations, the weekend newcomers proved underwhelming to U.S. audiences, who have yawned at many summer selections.
Explaining the ticket sales record is easy. Movies are more expensive than ever, now hovering at $7.88 a ticket. And those 3-D and Imax shows routinely cost $15 a ticket.
Explaining the attendance swoon is trickier. The summer had plenty of films that impressed critics and moviegoers, like Toy Story 3 and Inception.
But there has been no juggernaut of 2010 yet. The highest-grossing film so far is Toy Story 3 at $408 million, the only movie to cross the $400 million mark. Other factors tripped up Tinsel Town’s summer break:
- 3-D overhype? While it’s hailed as the usher of Hollywood’s new digital era, 3-D conversions and cheap films “caused people to lose their appetite” for the technology, says Hollywood.com’s Paul Dergarabedian. Of the summer’s top four films, only Toy Story was shot in 3-D.
- The Twitter/Facebook effect. Some analysts believe that as much as Twitter can spread hype, it shut others down before they were out of the gate. The $100 million Green Zone opened to a respectable $14 million, but petered out at $36 million. “Big on Friday, dead by Sunday,” Dergarabedian says. “With many substandard offerings, this happened a lot.”
The Robert Rodriguez pulp film Machete was second with $14 million, followed by the crime thriller Takers with $13.5 million. The Last Exorcism was fourth with $8.8 million, followed by Drew Barrymore newcomer Going the Distance, which bowed to a weak $8.6 million.
Article from USA TODAY.