It is not just in the U.S., here are a few of this year’s declines:
Germany: 14 percent
Spain: 9 percent
Australia: 11 percent
France: 13 percent
Japan: 10 percent for domestic films, 25 percent for Hollywood films.
Italy: 17.8 percent
Here is the full story, and I do not expect the watchable but philosophically lackluster War of the Worlds to change these facts.
Is it the Internet taking our time and attention? Illegal downloads? The hot summer in Europe? The mediocrity of this year’s Hollywood fare? High prices? The narrowing of the DVD release window from an average of four months to a forthcoming two months? And don’t forget, if you remove Passion of the Christ from the numbers — a unique cinematic phenomenon if there was one — this year is just about on a par with last year, at least in the U.S.. George Lucas notes that movie attendance has been declining since WWII. Stay tuned…