Why the Box Office Collapsed


By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher of Movieguide®

Headlines read, “Movies Suffer Worst Box Office Slump in a Decade”; “The Gloomiest Box Office Since the aftermath of 9/11”; and, rumors fly that it’s because of the competition of the Olympic Games, or Euro soccer. Euro soccer? When did European soccer ever affect the American box office?


The problem to the box office malaise is pretty simple. Some of the Entertainment Industry filmmakers have forgotten that it’s better to sell four tickets to a family than one ticket to a horror film fan who wants to see THE POSSESSION or the latest boring version of RESIDENT EVIL.

When Hollywood brings out good movies like THE AVENGERS, moviegoers flock to it. When they bring out a family movie like an ICE AGE sequel, it becomes one of the biggest movies of the summer.

Financial analysts keep saying that the old-time movie studio heads, who loved movies, have been replaced by people from television and elsewhere who know nothing about movies. If that’s the case, then they all should read HOW TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD (WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SOUL) and our Report to the Entertainment Industry, and then take our filmmaking class to find out what audiences really want.

Ultimately, the answer to the box office crisis is to make movies that people, especially families, want to see. Failing that, Hollywood is headed for even more box office nightmares.

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