Despite Mega-Blockbusters, 2012 is Worst Movie Summer in Two Decades!

If you think in numbers like I do, you might have looked at the movies of this summer, including the record-smashing ‘The Avengers’ and mega-blockbuster ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and assumed that the high numbers from those and other popular movies such as ‘The Amazing Spiderman’ and ‘Brave’ would be enough to produce a highly successful summer.

You would be wrong.

According to the Hollywood Reporter:

The number of people going to the movies dipped noticeably in North America this summer, putting increased pressure on the final four months of 2012 to bolster the bottom line.

According to preliminary estimates, 533.5 million tickets were sold this summer, down 4 percent from last year and the worst turnout since 1993. The lowest attendance before now came in summer 2010, when there were 534.4 tickets sold.

Total summer revenues also slipped. Initial estimates show the domestic box office generating $4.278 in billion in sales, down roughly 3 percent from last summer’s record $4.4 billion.

Final revenue and attendance figures will be released this week.

Looking at some data from Boxofficemojo, we see that in 2012 we have seen 8 movies gross more than $200 million, whereas in 2011 there were only 7 and in 2010 there 10. The drop-off in movies this year seemed especially steep in terms of those that made money and the total bombs. For example, the last two years had over 30 movies bringing in over $100 million, but this year there are barely more than HALF that many! But the year isn’t done yet:

While summer box office revenues are down in North America, the year overall is still running ahead of last year, thanks to a strong winter and spring. Yearly revenues are roughly $7.5 billion, up more than 3.3 percent over last year.

My kids have seen a bunch of movies this year with friends, but as a family our outings are definitely down for any number of reasons. What about you? Have you seen more movies this year? Do you think that the industry is so focused on the mega-hit that lesser performers never have a chance? How do you think the rest of the year will go? Let us know!

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1 reply

  1. I didn’t think most of the “blockbusters” did nearly as well as analysts were expecting so I was was expecting a bit of a down summer. The Avengers did gangbusters, but title like “The Dark Knight” and Spiderman” didn’t seem to do as well. Some spring titles just seemed to tank like “The Three Stooges”. I don’t know – Im not hopeful for this fall and holiday season either.