Bigscreen Slump

The movie business was less than stellar throughout the world in 2005.

Box office revenues in the U.S. dropped 6 percent from 2004 to $8.99 billion in 2005 while the worldwide market fell 7.9 percent to $23.24 billion after an all-time high in 2004.

The number of tickets sold in the U.S. continued its three-year decline, with the total U.S. audience dropping 9 percent to 1.4 billion, which is the lowest number in almost a decade. About 240 million fewer tickets were sold than in 2004. The average ticket price also went up from $6.21 to $6.41.

“Star Wars: Episode III” was the highest-grossing film of 2005 at $380.3 million. Eight films grossed more than $200 million each.

Good news for the movie business is that it actually cost less to produce a movie, $2.5 million less on average.

While it is unclear why the box office numbers were lower than usual in 2005, it seems that DVD and home theatre sales are not the problem. The MPAA’s August study by Nielson Entertainment/NRG of 3,000 moviegoers found that those who had the most DVD players, big-screen TVs and other high-tech options frequented movie theatres more often than the average person.