NPR logo
Movie Price Increases Mask Drop In Attendance
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/98806968/98806946" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Movie Price Increases Mask Drop In Attendance

Business

Movie Price Increases Mask Drop In Attendance

Movie Price Increases Mask Drop In Attendance
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/98806968/98806946" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Movie ticket sales appear to have held their own. But dig deeper and sales are off about 5 percent. Ticket prices increased this year, which gives the initial appearance that attendance has stayed the same.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

In a year that's been disastrous for lenders and retailers, movie sales have done just fine. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports on the story behind the numbers.

YUKI NOGUCHI: Unless you've spent the last month in a media blackout, you've probably heard of "Marley and Me."

(Soundbite of movie "Marley and Me")

Mr. OWEN WILSON (As John Grogan): Never had a dog.

Mr. ERIC DANE (As Sebastian): There's nothing to it. You feed him, you walk him, you let him out every now and again. But it doesn't really matter because you're not the one's going to take care of it, Jenny is.

Mr. OWEN WILSON (As John Grogan): That's a really good idea.

NOGUCHI: The movie, about the adventures of a couple adopting a yellow Labrador, grossed $51 million since it opened Christmas Day. That seems pretty good for a pretty bad economic year, and it is. But that's not the whole picture.

Mr. JEFFREY BOCK (Senior Box Office Analyst, Exhibitor Relations Co.): When you look a little closer, it's a little bit troubling when you see that attendance is actually off almost five percent.

NOGUCHI: Jeff Bock is a box office analyst for Exhibitor Relations, a company that crunches movie sales numbers. He says what saved the industry this year was higher ticket prices. People still spend on entertainment in down economies, sure. But Bock says between movie downloads, TV shows on DVD, music, and video games, the big screen has lots of competition - even for his own attention.

Mr. BOCK: Well, personally, you know I enjoy getting together with people with the Wii. You know, I'm part of that fan club, you know. It's interactive, you know, whereas as far as, let's be honest, movie going really isn't as interactive.

NOGUCHI: Next year theaters are hoping to draw people back, particularly younger people, with big-name releases and movies shot in 3D. If they don't, 2009 won't have a happy ending for the movie business.

Yuki Noguchi, NPR News.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.