February 2 2009

Hollywood Has Biggest January Ever; Still Mopey

hollywoodIt’s true folks, Hollywood is in deep crisis… of morals that is.

Hollywood had a record year in 2008 financially, but attendance dropped off.  Well, according to Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood, the American movie industry had their best January ever to kick off 2009… stupid pirates killing off all of their business!

Hollywood has been cutting jobs in this down economy, and they also have been dragging their feet on a new contract with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) due to money concerns, and they have been saying that they need more money, with even rumors of a government bailout may be needed.  Yet, here we are looking at the January numbers show that they grossed $1.028 billion at the box office compared to $867.2 million last January for an increase of 18.57%.  Now, before you say this is caused by increased ticket prices, you should know that attendance was up 16.78% over the same time period last year.

True, we are only one month into 2009, but this certainly bodes well for the movie industry, and while it is highly unlikely we will see another break out, $500 million plus, grosser like The Dark Knight this year, this bodes very well for the year.  Considering the total gross for 2008 was $9.76 billion, it certainly looks like they are tracking to beat last year already.

Poor Hollywood… you know pirates are hurting their bottom lines… they keep telling us so by annoying advertisements.  Well, if history teaches us anything, it is that during tougher economic times, people tend to go to the movies more for escapism, and this lead to huge attendance numbers during the Great Depression.  Certainly this is not another depression, but you have to figure that contributes to the situation.

I have to admit I am a bit befuddled by this since Netflix reported their earnings jumped 45% in the fourth quarter of 2008, so expected box office takes to be down.  Shows what I know!

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