‘Honeymoon’ in Hollywood, not so much anymore
The honeymoon in Hollywood isn’t going so well.
In fact, the industry’s fortunes have declined sharply since a year ago.
And with the next crop of stars arriving in Hollywood — from Justin Bieber to Matt Damon to Kevin Spacey — the Hollywood dream is not looking so hot anymore.
“The movie industry is in a tailspin, and that is what you would expect, given the decline in box office revenue and the fall in earnings per theater,” said Michael Pachter, an economist at New York University who studies the movie industry.
While the box office is down, the earnings per theatrical average, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, are up, according to research firm Cowen & Co. A year ago, Box Office Mojo estimated that the industry had lost $8.9 billion in 2015.
That number has fallen to $5.3 billion, according the company.
The industry lost more than $60 billion last year.
Despite the downturn, Hollywood is thriving, Pachner said.
This year, Box will report box office grosses for all films through June 30.
It expects $4.3 to $4 to $6 billion, depending on how it breaks down its box office numbers for 2015.
That means that Hollywood is still getting big, even if its earnings per-ticket average is down by nearly a third.
Its biggest hits this year are “The Fate of the Furious” ($50.4 million), “The Martian” ($49.9 million) and “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” ($47.6 million).
Its second-biggest hits this summer are “Django Unchained” ($36.4, down from $43.5 million), and “Fifty Shades Darker” ($34.5, up from $28.5).
“Hollywood is the place to be, and the movie business is thriving,” said Steve Belledin, president of Boxoffice Mojo.
“There is plenty of room for growth.”
The biggest problem facing the industry, he added, is that the entertainment industry is “on the cusp of a new golden age” that could see the box-office decline for decades.
As a result, Hollywood has become a big business, Belledin said.
But is Hollywood the problem?
Since the recession, the movie box office has actually increased in the U.S. by more than 8% compared to the same time last year, according Toilolo & Reed.
Toilolo is predicting that the number of movies hitting theaters this year will be close to 3,000, compared to 2,600 in 2014.
Still, the studios are losing money.
They are also seeing a decline in ticket sales, said David Leitch, chief executive of Box Office World, an industry publication.
“The big picture is that ticket sales are down and box office revenues are down, but it’s not enough,” Leitch said.
“I think that the studios have been struggling for quite some time.”
But as the studios struggle to generate the income to sustain their businesses, the next generation of stars is entering the picture.
Kevin Spacey’s new movie “House of Cards” has brought in $8 million from 2,955 locations and has a reported $8 billion worldwide gross.
For comparison, the “Frozen” sequel, which has yet to open, has made $11 million from 1,932 locations and $30.6 billion worldwide.
Star Trek’s new reboot, “Trek: Beyond,” has grossed $5 million from 626 locations and a reported record $114.7 billion worldwide, according Deadline.
Meanwhile, the hit TV series “The Blacklist” has grossing $534,000 from 727 locations and an estimated $2.6 trillion worldwide, while “Downton Abbey” has a $2 million from 39 theaters and $20.9 trillion worldwide.
In other words, Hollywood’s box office slump is far from over. More: