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.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (5)
  1. Karen says:

    No kidding. I LOVE movies and work in movies and have not wanted to see any of the new movies. The last movie I saw was the King’s Speech at the tail end of its run.

  2. TT says:

    I have no idea what the quality of the movies are right now – but seems to me this is simple economics Bad economy+ higher prices at theater for entire family= stay home and watch it on pay per view for 5.00 for whole family to see…..

  3. Roger Wallace says:

    D’ ya think?! It seems like a good 80 – 90% of the films that Hollywood is pushing out in the name of the almighty buck are pure garbage — bad rom-coms, awful, brainless action flicks, and poorly made remakes of originals. Throw in rampant piracy, sky-high box office prices, and people who no longer want to sit in a theater full of a bunch of inconsiderate, gabby, texting nitwits, and you then have the complete sinking ship.

    1. Karen says:

      Speaking of gabbing nitwits at the theater, I was so steamed when some audience member gave a non-stop commentary of the Kings Speech. The usher was oblivious so I intervened but I don’t like that. I just want to watch a movie in peace.

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