Hollywood is happy to call "cut" on this summer's less-than-blockbuster movie season, with box office numbers down across the board, reports the New York Times. US revenues fell 3% to $4.28 billion for the period from May to this Labor Day weekend, the first drop in summer revenues in seven years. Attendance fell 4% to 533 million admissions, the lowest number since 1993 when modern records began. "Some of it was conceptual ideas that didn’t connect and some of it was just bad product," said one analyst.
The Olympics didn't help either, with one in 10 moviegoers deciding to watch the Games instead of going to the movies at least once. And 3D ticket sales fell 15% from last year, as consumers buck against the higher-priced tickets. Avengers ($1.5 billion worldwide) and The Dark Knight Rises (nearly $1 billion) were the summer's biggest hits, while Battleship was the biggest loser, tanking so badly it gave Universal Studios an $83 million loss for the second quarter. While the studios remain fixated on big-budget, tent-pole franchises, several hits came from low- and mid-budget films. such as Hope Springs and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, “because they reached an audience that could really care less about superheroes, car chases, and explosions," said one observer.