There’s no denying it, movies are big business. From the films themselves, to the concession sales and seat upgrades, people flock to the theatre every weekend to spend their hard earned money. Lately though there has been a surprising trend, ticket sales are down. As in way down. And this weekend was the first in over 20 years that the top twelve films failed to reach $50 million.
In Canada, Cineplex Odeon has tried to quell the expected decrease in ticket sales, by lowering their prices for the last week of August. If it works, you may see them run more sales like it in the future. What doesn’t help unfortunately is the lack of quality movies that have come out lately. Typically August and September releases aren’t the same kinds of movies you would see in the May and June. For instance, the top movie over the weekend was The Hitman’s Bodyguard starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, which finished this weekend with $10 million. The movie hasn’t been getting a lot of positive reviews, and only seems to be doing well because of the lack of choices. After the finally tallies are in, the film may even make less than $10 million, which would be the first time the top film has made less than $10 million since 2015.
In second place was New Line’s Annabelle: Creation with $7.35 million followed by the animated film Leap! which earned only $5 million. You can tell the box office was low too, when the Mayweather and McGregor fight on Saturday earned enough money in one day to place eighth on the list.
With the Labour Day weekend ahead of us, the box office may reach a new low, especially with no really big new movies opening. Tulip Fever and Unlocked are the new releases, which hardly anyone has heard of, with a re-release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind also coming out. The next big release could be It, the Stephen King horror flick that is released on September 8th, but horror movies always have a limited shelf life and audience, and it won’t be a long term saviour.
Perhaps this could be a signal to Hollywood to start making movies more in line with what people want to watch, instead of what they think they want to watch. Maybe they need to release more quality films, instead of filling the screens with special effects and no substance. And maybe, just maybe, they need to lower the prices just a bit so families can attend once again without having to mortgage their homes.