HOLLYWOOD HUNGRY FOR HITS TICKET SALES FALLING AFTER BOFFO MAY, JUNE.Byline: Greg Hernandez Staff Writer
In mid-July, the movie industry was striding with confidence toward setting an all-time summer record for box office grosses. But a month later, the question is not how much will last summer's record of $2.96 billion be eclipsed by but whether it will be broken at all.
The traditional summer season begins with Memorial Day weekend and ends on Labor Day Labor Day, holiday celebrated in the United States and Canada on the first Monday in September to honor the laborer. It was inaugurated by the Knights of Labor in 1882 and made a national holiday by the U.S. Congress in 1894. . In mid-July, the industry was 13 percent ahead of 2001 in terms of revenue and 9.4 percent ahead in attendance.
But after four weekends in a row of declining attendance, a once-commanding lead has dwindled to a mere 4 percent in grosses and a half-percent in attendance as of last Sunday Sunday: see Sabbath; week. . Industry experts say that some new hits are desperately needed for a new record to be set.
``Four weeks is a small moment in time but if we see this happening the next few weeks, we may not see a summer season we thought it would be,'' said Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations.
The once unthinkable has happened despite a string of hit movies that has included ``Spider-Man,'' ``Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones,'' ``Men in Black II'' and ``Austin Powers in Goldmember.''
The difference from 2001 is that there were several sleeper hits This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.
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This article has been tagged since October 2007. that carried the record through the August home stretch, including ``The Princess Diaries,'' ``The Fast and the Furious'' and ``The Others,'' all of which either crossed the $100 million mark or got close to it.
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While the August films ``Signs'' and ``XXX'' had stellar openings of $60 million and $44.5 million, respectively, they have also carried a majority of the box office on their backs.
``Goldmember'' and ``Men in Black II'' had huge openings in July but have not sustained heavy business in subsequent weeks. The sequels ``Stuart Little 2'' and ``Spy Kids 2: The City of Lost Dreams'' have performed below expectations and star vehicles for Harrison Ford (``K-19: The Widowmaker) and Clint Clint is the diminutive word for the given name Clinton and may refer to:
This has slowed the box office momentum down tremendously.
While expectations are minimal for the Eddie Murphy Edward "Eddie" Regan Murphy (born April 3, 1961) is an Academy Award nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning American actor and comedian. He was a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1980 to 1984, and has worked as a stand-up comedian. comedy ``Adventures of Pluto Nash,'' which opened Friday, there is some buzz that the female surfing surfing, sport of gliding toward the shore on a breaking wave. Surfers originally used long, cumbersome wooden boards but now ride lightweight synthetic boards that allow a greater degree of maneuverability. film ``Blue Crush'' could draw solid numbers this weekend as it unspools on more than 3,000 screens.
Robert Bucksbaum, president of Reel Source Inc, a box office analysis firm, said the major studios need to spread out their potential blockbusters throughout the year because of a feast-or-famine scenario that ends up playing out at the megaplex each year.
``All these movies are bunched into these small slots of eight weeks during summer and the holidays, and the rest of the marketplace is suffering,'' he said.
The major studio rosters for the rest of the month include the horror-thriller ``Feardotcom,'' the comedy ``Serving Sara'' starring Matthew Perry and Elizabeth Hurley Elizabeth Jane Hurley (born June 10, 1965) is an English actress, fashion model, producer and designer. Early life
Elizabeth Hurley was born in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England in 1965. , the prison boxing drama ``Undisputed'' with Wesley Snipes Snipes (Diminutive for Snipers) is a text-mode networked computer game that was created in 1983 by SuperSet software. Snipes is officially credited as being the original inspiration for Novell NetWare. and Ving Rhames Irving Rameses "Ving" Rhames (born May 12 1959) is a Golden Globe-winning American actor. Biography
Rhames was born in New York City, New York to African-American parents Reatha, a homemaker, and Ernest Rhames, an auto mechanic. , and the Al Pacino film ``Simone.''
``Theaters owners have to stay open 365 days a year,'' Bucksbaum said. ``I think studios really need to look at their schedule. In September, there's nothing and in October, nothing except a few here and there but not enough to keep a multiplex See multiplexing. going.''
While it would seem that monster grosses for ``Spider-Man'' ($403.6 million to date) and ``Star Wars'' ($299 million to date) would guarantee a summer record, both films opened in early to mid-May, before the official start of the summer season.
``Spider-Man'' had opened on May 3 to an all-time opening weekend record of $114.8 million, and less than two weeks later the latest ``Star Wars'' film grossed $80 million during its first weekend.
If those and other grosses for the entire month of May were figured in, business is ahead by 12 percent in revenue and 8.5 percent in attendance, according to Exhibitor Relations.