For this summer’s box office, the hits keep on coming—and not the good kind, the ones with $100 million opening weekends. No, the summer of 2014 has been one body-blow after another at the U.S. box office, as the collective slate of big Hollywood films has failed to keep up with last summer’s record pace. The most recent weekend, which witnessed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes repeat as the top movie, was trailing the same weekend last year by almost 25 percent. July is down more than 30 percent year-to-year, and the summer as a whole is down almost 19 percent from last year.
To be fair, the summer of 2013 was monstrous, with Iron Man 3 and Despicable Me 2 leading a parade of blockbusters that included 19 films that topped $100 million. This year, there have been only 10 films to hit that mark, though the season isn’t over yet, obviously. But as previously detailed, this summer might yield the worst box office in decades, with ticket sales down to disturbing levels. But why?
A simple and frequently cited explanation is that the current crop of movies stink. Give theatergoers something great, the conventional wisdom goes, and they’ll show up again and again. But what if the movies don’t stink? Or, more precisely, what if they stink the same amount as last year’s films? Then what? READ FULL STORY