Weak year? Good year? Great year? Depending on who you talk to, 2014 was all over the map in terms of quality at the movies. But at the very least 2014 was a strange one, and a disappointing one for theater chains above all.
Only 1.26 billion consumers went to the movies in North America this year in figures reported by The Hollywood Reporter Monday, making that the lowest turnout in a year since 1995, and the first time the figure has dipped below 1.3 billion since 2011.
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And yet these numbers may be increasingly less of a concern to Hollywood as foreign numbers continue to skyrocket. Variety is reporting that Fox hit a record box office high worldwide with $5.5 billion thanks to the release of Gone Girl, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and X-Men: Days of Future Past. What’s more, the movies most likely to perform well in these regions, action movies and comic book adaptations saw a spike in attendance while numbers for comedies and dramas went down, Deadline reports.
The suggestion seems to be that a handful of poorly received and underperforming films from the likes of Transformers and Spiderman are the cause to Hollywood’s domestic woes. So the only rational solution is to just make more of those.
Meanwhile, TV is encroaching on film’s space with HBO having just announced that Game of Thrones would be shown for one week in IMAX theaters across the country, suggesting that with the rise of VOD platforms, the way in which people consume the movies is dramatically changing, even if theater chains and Hollywood thinks this year is just an unfortunate blip on the calendar.