Tags: hollywood | bullock | mccarthy

Hollywood's Summer Numbers Down 19 Percent

Monday, 07 Jul 2014 11:40 AM

By James Hirsen

In terms of box-office performance, summer 2014 is not exactly turning out to be the blockbuster season Hollywood had been hoping for.

The Fourth of July holiday weekend, which is typically a key revenue-generating time period for Hollywood, has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster.

Newly released movies actually brought in 44 percent fewer dollars than they did in last year’s matching time slot, handing the entertainment industry one of the worst Independence Day weekends it has ever experienced.

Contributing to the downtrend is the raunchy R-rated film “Tammy,” which stars Melissa McCarthy. The comedy recently underperformed in a dramatic way, bringing in an estimated $21 million over the weekend and a total gross of $33 million since its release.

By comparison, analysts and studio executives harbored expectations that the movie would gross around $45 million in the five-day span.

Warner Bros. seems to be on a particularly atrocious summer streak, as the company is dealing with subpar performance in three major summer releases: “Edge of Tomorrow,” “Jersey Boys,” and the aforementioned “Tammy.”

The studio is likely rethinking the decision to release McCarthy’s project over such a significant summer weekend. According to The Wall Street Journal, Warner had snapped up the script without actually having read it.

Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. distribution chief, reacted to the box-office news, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “There’s nothing wrong here. It’s true that tracking was more favorable for us going into the weekend, but this was a $20 million movie. This is a movie Melissa did by herself with her husband. It doesn’t have a big supporting star like Sandy [Bullock, who co-starred with McCarthy in 'The Heat'].”

Still, as far as the Hollywood film business is concerned, something is extremely off-track. This summer’s numbers are down more than 19 percent when compared to last year, according to Rentrak, a firm that compiles ticketing data. The drop occurred even though there have been summer hits such as “Transformers: Age of Extinction” and “22 Jump Street.”

Revenues from the first weekend in May through Independence Day weekend amounted to $2.3 billion; this stands in contrast to the $2.8 billion taken in during the equivalent period in 2013, a downturn of 19.3% according to Rentrak's estimates.

The dismal summer stats are quickly turning industry smiles upside down. Domestic box-office revenues were up almost 9 percent over the previous year as Hollywood was heading into the summer season. However, the total box office for 2014 has now turned negative. It is down 3.8 percent from 2013, according to BoxOffice.com, and as such it will be highly unlikely for the movie industry to fair better than 2013’s total $10.9 billion, ultimately resulting in 2014 having negative box-office growth.

Hollywood insiders are scrambling for a way to explain the sorry news. Some blame East Coast weather, others the World Cup. Some even cite the postponed releases of big-budget entries, including “Fast & Furious 7.”

The real reason for the downturn, though, may be the inevitable competition that new entertainment platforms pose to the whole traditional movie concept.

More and more people have big-screen capability that can either match, come close to, or in some cases even exceed the quality and atmosphere of the old-style theater experience.

Artistic storytelling, production methodology, and computer generated imagery of current cable and broadcast fare obviously exceeds in many instances the techniques and presentations of the past. Adding to the media mix is the advent of streaming and a plethora of on-demand programming.

For our entertainment pleasure, it looks as though we have a new version of what we used to call “dinner and a movie.”

James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Davos Panelists Foresee the Death of Privacy

Monday, 26 Jan 2015 09:37 AM

Silicon Valley is in the process of developing appliances, systems, and controlling devices that are connected to one an . . .

Eastwood's 'American Sniper' Scores Big

Monday, 19 Jan 2015 08:36 AM

Eastwood’s 'Sniper' has picked up six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor. With an estimate . . .

Golden Globes Officials Cope With Credibility Issues

Monday, 12 Jan 2015 12:46 PM

A problematic situation for the Golden Globes has been a lack of genuine credibility, despite the awards show’s substant . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved