The summer movie season hasn't begun with an explosion, so much as a whimper. Normally Memorial Day weekend is one of Hollywood's biggest money-earners, but last weekend's box office was the lowest Memorial Day weekend in years. A tally of $186M is the lowest total since 2001, claims the LA Times. So who's to blame? Here is a list of potential factors:
– The movies sucked. Critics dismissed the weekend's biggest earners: Sex and the City 2 ($37.1M), Prince of Persia ($37.8M) and Shrek Forever After ($55.7M), and there's very little buzz around any of these films. According to CinemaScore, audiences gave these films a "B," but is a lackluster B-movie enough to get people into theaters?
– The economy is bouncing back and people are were on vacation, rather than a "staycation." However, we have a sinking feeling that the economy hasn't bounced back enough to allow so many people to go on trips that the box office suffered.
– Sports! This weekend we had both the NHL and NBA playoffs, plus the Indie 500. This excuse seems pretty plausible, except that attendance was down 6.9% for all of May, not just last weekend.
What do you think caused the dip in box office this Memorial Day? Have you been enjoying Hollywood movies so far this summer?