As Hollywood prepares to celebrate its achievements at the Golden Globes on Sunday, new figures show all might not be well in the film industry, with attendances at a quarter-century low.
The last 12 months have seen huge successes, with “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Beauty and the Beast” raking in more than half a billion dollars each at home.
“Wonder Woman” and several Marvel superhero movies including “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2″ and Thor: Ragnarok” also have more than pulled their weight.
But the handful of hits has masked a decline of almost six percent on the year to 1.2 billion tickets sold, the lowest total since 1992, according to Box Office Mojo.
It’s all a stark contrast to the heyday of 2002, the busiest year since annual totals were first counted in 1980, when moviegoers bought 337 million more tickets than they did last year.
The cash registers are still ringing, with total domestic gross a shade over $11 billion in 2017 – boosted by outsize contributions in December from the eighth “Star Wars” installment and comedy reboot “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.”
That’s only a small drop from the 2016 record of $11.4 billion; generally for the past five years, the trend has been upward.