The increase in streaming entertainment dealt a blow to movie theaters
Fewer tickets were sold at U.S. movie theaters in 2017 than any years since 1992, according to Box Office Mojo.
Data from the website’s calculations show 1.239 billion movie tickets were sold between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 last year. It’s a mild drop from 2016, at just under six percent, but more significant when considering the trend: As home entertainment options have continued to expand, the amount of tickets sold in theaters has on average decreased. For comparison’s sake, more than 1.4 billion tickets were sold just 10 years ago.
“Studios are lagging behind for the very simple reason that they are relying on retreads and reboots, and most of those aren’t being well received,” Exhibitor Relations senior analyst Jeff Bock recently told Business Insider. “Audiences are continuing to flock to streaming in droves for challenging content and that doesn’t look to change in 2018, or the near future.”
The contrast between this figure and the overall gross numbers for 2017, which at $11.065 billion were slightly off from the year before but less severely, speaking to the impact of increased ticket prices. (The late December jumps of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and The Greatest Showman helped keep the year’s final gross relatively strong.) Last year, the average was more than $8.93, according to Box Office Mojo, a record high.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi was the biggest moneymaker at the 2017 box office, raking in more than $533 million; Beauty and the Beast ($504m), Wonder Woman, ($412.6m), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($389.8m), and Spider-Man: Homecoming round out the top five ($334.2m).