LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — A weak slate of Hollywood releases is likely behind the recent tailspin at the box office, according to industry leaders, but most still expect business to bounce back as soon as this summer.
The biggest factor: few recent movies have grabbed people’s interest, John Fithian, who heads the National Association of Theatre Owners, told attendees at this year’s CinemaCon, a Las Vegas convention for theater owners.
Matt Atchity, editor of RottenTomatoes.com, tells KNX 1070’s Dick Helton that any quality offerings have been few and far between.
Fithian, along with Chris Dodd, new chief of the Motion Picture Association of America, told jittery industry leaders that the business was simply going through a cyclical downturn.
Hollywood had an unusually strong first quarter last year because of “Avatar” and a few other early hits, but revenues are down about 19 percent so far this year compared to 2010.
At CinemaCon, studios are showcasing a strong lineup of summer and holiday films, and some predict Hollywood will rebound with record revenue for the year.
KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports many insiders are banking on titles like “The Hangover Part II” and “Cars 2” to lead the box office turnaround.
The other option for movie theater operators: bump up the price of popcorn. But analysts warn hiking concession prices would only further fuel the cineplex exodus.
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