Sunday, April 21, 2024

Box Office: Digital Finally Does to Movie Biz What It Did to Records– Lowest Numbers Ever


I took a while. but this is the summer when digital delivery did to the movie business what it already did to the record industry– killed it.

Since Napster and everything that followed, the record biz has seen its weekly numbers grind down to nothing. Digital delivery destroyed the physical business. There are no record stores left anywhere. The ones that are still out there sell dozens of other items as well.

Now digital delivery has killed movies. Last night’s box office follows a three month trend. With a couple of exceptions– “Wonder Woman”–the audience has not shown up in movie theaters to see movies. They’ve stayed home to watch “Game of Thrones,” Netflix, and Amazon.

Last night’s top 10 barely made a total of $12 million. That should be a Friday night take for one movie. But nothing is doing business, except “Wonder Woman,” which was released back widely and made $475,000. But the top movie, “Hitman’s Bodyguard,” a holdover, made $3.3 million last night.

Movie theaters are going to go the way of record and book stores. It took a long time, but here it is. And this is tragic. Once the trend starts, it’s impossible to reverse it. So the studios better think of something fast.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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