Wednesday, June 15

Let's Go To The Movies! Let's Go See The Stars

Hollywood is in a slump. For the past four months, box office grosses have been down compared to last year. And if the trend continues into the 17th weeks, it will tie the record for the number of down weekends. I think Star Wars and The Interpreter may be the only films I've seen in the theater in 2005. Theories range from the fact that the quality of recent movies has decreased to the fact that cocooning at home with your home theater system and Netflix is more appealing than ever before. I think both of those facts contribute to the decline in revenue, but I think that movie theaters themselves need to take some blame. Dirty aisles, broken air conditioning and lack of investment in renovations compounded by rising ticket prices and 20-minute long commercials before the previews begin seem to be likely culprits to me.

But maybe the opening of Batman Begins this weekend will turn it all around. We've got Katie Holmes working overtime to publicize the film, and I heard Christian Bale on Fresh Air yesterday talking about transforming his body from "narcissistic muscles" in American Psycho to being painfully gaunt for The Machinist to bulking up for Reign of Fire and Batman. But if my interest level in Batman Begin is a bellweather, I think Hollywood can expect the downturn to continue.