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We live in a different movie world than we did a few years ago, when a 51% drop in box office revenues would have spelled death for a film (Jurassic Park II anyone…). Today, with movie studios eager to nab as much as they can opening weekend, the drop is probably expected, especially as the summer box office heats up with a major motion picture hitting theaters each weekend.

Regardless, Iron Man took the top spot once again bringing in an estimated $50.5 million for its second weekend, racking up up an estimated $177.1 million in domestic box office sales. Even though this drop sounds dire, Nielsen EDI estimates ticket sales are up 16% from this time last year.

But year to date, 2008 trails the same portion of last year by 2% with $2.87 billion in industry grosses. The young summer boxoffice is off 4% from the same stretch of the previous swimsuit season, as even the strong “Iron Man” grosses have failed to measure up against the first two weekends of the biggest film from summer 2007, “Spider-Man 3.”

Sounds to me like the only thing that can save the movie industry is YOU. Stop those illegal downloads and start buying those $15 tickets, overpriced popcorn and drinks, so you can sit in a noisy theater listening to the jack-ass behind you gabbing away during the best parts of the movie, while Stinky McFat crowds you out of your seat while smacking his lips loudly with every bite of that Kit Kat bar. Yes, those cell phones ringing non-stop only add to the ambiance, and the crying child – who should never have been allowed in the theater in the first place – makes you long for those days when everyone knew how to behave themselves when attending the movies.

via THR

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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

7 Comments

  1. To save yourself from the wonderfulness of movie theatre patrons, go during the week. Monday-Wednesday are great days to go to the theatre and enjoy an almost empty auditorium all to yourself. Most chains also have coupons or special offers for these low volume days of the week.

    AMC theatres has “free small popcorn” Wednesdays if you’re a member of their benefits program.

  2. Look at it this way. Iron Man is only down 2% from SPIDER-MAN. If you take into account the characters’ relative popularity, I think it could easily be argued that Iron Man’s done as well or better than you could rightfully expect.

    I think this is going to end up being a big movie year. With gas prices keeping family’s close to home, it’s not going to take long before mother’s start dropping kids off at the movies once school’s out.

  3. I thought $50-60 million was what some were predicting for IM’s opening weekend. So to get that in its second weekend with Speed Racer opening has to be seen as a big success.

  4. I do go to fewer movies than before, and me & the woman used to go at least once a week. Now it’s more like once a month, and that average is only maintained by the summer releases. Too many a-holes…though since I moved out of the L.A. area, I have encountered a little more politeness in theaters. but only a little. What I like are places like the Dome or the El Capitan in Hollywood, where there are actual ushers who enforce “no talking,” but even if I hadn’t moved, those places are too expensive to visit regularly. I’d love to live near an Alamo Drafthouse-type place, but Albuquerque is apparently still a city-in-progress. I saw “Night of the Living Dead” Saturday night at a quirky little movie-house, but it was dirty and the seating floor was flat, creating many “down in front” situations.

    Let’s just say as soon as they start putting out more actual great movies on Blu-Ray, my 90-inch projection screen and Netflix account are going to take even more severe chunks out of my theater-going time.

  5. Again the entertainment industry is getting it wrong. They thought CD sales were down because people were stealing music. When actually music had started to suck and CD’s were less convenient. Now we have movies. For all the reasons listed,plus many of them suck. On top of the fact that a lot of us have better set-ups at home. But they wanna blame bootlegging and downloads.

  6. If the movie industry wants to save box office revenues, they need to invest more heavily in supporting theater chains to better the moviegoing experience. Hiring ushers or security to kick out yapping, cell-phone flashing a-holes would cause me to spend at least an extra $100 a year on theatrical movies, and I’m not alone.

  7. As a general rule, I hate people. Like many of the commentors, I find myself going to the movies less and less because of the people I have to sit next to. I’m all for a distribution model that would charge in the range of $50.00 for new releases on the day they come out on my home setup.

    I only go out to theaters to see the big “event” movies these days, or movies that I want to see do well (which are few and far between these days). With the DVD turn around to be 2-3 months in most cases, why rush out and deal with the crowds when you can see it via Netflix for a third of the cost?

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