Despite the agita flowing through Hollywood about paying stars and shriveled DVD takes, movie theatre box offices are on track for their first $10 billion year ever.
Experts are attributing it not to the comic genius of Kevin James in Paul Blart: Mall Cop, but to the recession. When times are tough, as they were during the 1970s oil shock and in a handful of other economic crisis since the 1930s, the tough go to the movies, it seems.
“It’s great news when pictures like ‘Mall Cop,’ ‘Taken’ or ‘Fast & Furious’ work” outside summer and Christmas months, Jeff Blake, vice chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, told Bloomberg news. Studios are looking to “put pictures in other months of the year.”
Some stats from the recent Bloomberg piece:
•Ticket sales are up 17 per cent.
•Five movies have topped $100 million in sales, compared with just one a year earlier.
•Sales growth is the fastest since 2002, according to Box Office Mojo, which puts this year’s gain at 14 per cent.
• U.S. box-office revenue rose 25 per cent in 1974, during the Arab oil embargo, and another 11 per cent in 1975, years that included Blazing Saddles, Godfather II and Jaws—the all-time leader in its day.
•Revenue jumped 7.7 per cent in 1981, when Raiders of the Lost Ark hit theatres, and 16 per cent the next year, led by E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial.
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