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Bloomberg: Hollywood Looks to Potter in 2009 to Stem Decline in Movie Attendance

Posted by: sue
December 30, 2008, 01:11 PM has a new article online, detailing the concern Hollywood has over declining movie attendance and ticket sales. The piece notes that many are looking toward Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and other sequels to turn the tide in 2009. Quotage:

Hollywood’s fortunes may improve next year with the return of proven franchises, including Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince,” the sixth in a film series that has generated $1.41 billion in U.S. ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo LLC. Familiar titles may keep theaters filled as the industry faces recession and the risk of an actors strike.

The article continues to note that while ticket sales are down this season, Hollywood studios plan to release 17 sequels next year, and hopes rest on the success at the box office for these, including Half-Blood Prince:

Hollywood would probably have surpassed 2007’s record if Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. hadn’t changed the release date of the new “Harry Potter” film from November to July 2009, Media By Numbers President Paul Dergarabedian said in an interview. The first five films in the series have generated an average of $282 million in sales.

Warner Bros. said in August it was moving the film to fill a schedule gap created by the 100-day strike by the Writers Guild of America. The studio is closing out 2008 in first place, with record box office sales for the year, according to Dan Fellman, head of distribution.

Along with its New Line Cinema unit, Warner had taken in $1.83 billion in U.S. sales as of Dec. 21, according to Burbank, California-based Box Office Mojo.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will be released in theaters July 17, 2009.

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omg!! This has got to be the biggest movie or i will scream!! stupid economy!!

Posted by fredgeorgefan101 on December 30, 2008, 01:19 PM report to moderator

Well obviously fewer people are going to see films, nobody has any money.

Posted by Linny on December 30, 2008, 01:35 PM report to moderator

Well actually movie attendance generally goes up during times of economic recession/depression. It’s a relatively cheap way to escape your worldly troubles.

Posted by Dolemite on December 30, 2008, 01:47 PM report to moderator

Oh man I really hope so! I know people are saying that since all of the books are out, interest in the movies will decline, but I really have a hard time believing that, seeing as how we readers want to follow the enormous franchise to the very end. Good luck HBP!!!

Posted by Maggie on December 30, 2008, 02:19 PM report to moderator

For a family of 5 in my small town, it’s not worth paying the 10 ticket plus snack fee to escape the world for 2 hours….

In the 30’s, yes people went to films….but times are very different. We have rentals and TV and while it’s illegal people watch streamed movies online. Pay $60 to take the family out or pay $3 for the rental?

I don’t think we can generalize about theater and the economy this time around because everything is very different then our last economic downturn, the world has changed.

Rather then hope HP does well…WB should just make their own theaters with cheaper prices to lure in audiences. A crazy thought? Maybe…but it would work.

Posted by Krystle on December 30, 2008, 02:23 PM report to moderator

People would be going to the movies more if they just released the damn movie last month like they were supposed to.. ugh.. still disgruntled. I want to see this movie soo bad!

Posted by Stephanie on December 30, 2008, 02:28 PM report to moderator
Dumbledores man through and through!

Why the hell would the actors strick, they are rich??

Posted by Dumbledores man through and through! on December 30, 2008, 03:54 PM report to moderator

You don’t have to pay $10 to see a movie if you go to a matinee. There’s something about going to the theatre that you just don’t get from a rental on your couch. I’ll see it several times; I hope other people will too. Good luck, HBP movie.

Posted by H on December 30, 2008, 03:57 PM report to moderator
Gail Perry

What idiots we have running the movie industry. It was their decision to try to manipulate me by delaying the movie that has so put me off them, especially Warner Bros.

it may have been a cheap way to get entertainment in the thirties but it isn’t now. Back then they churned them out much faster. “It Happened One Night,” which won several oscars, was done mostly by actors under contract in four weeks.

I am sticking to my plan. I will see no Warner Bros. movies until the HP movie comes out. I saw OP three times in the theater. I will see this one twice. I will wait two weeks to see it — heaven knows I’ve waited long enough already! I urge others to do the same or make similar plans — and let WB know. They do have email.

Posted by Gail Perry on December 30, 2008, 04:34 PM report to moderator

The whole ticket-sale decline is not new to this current economic situation. It’s been going on for awhile now. Even though prices are higher than ever, attendance is lower. This is because our home theater entertainment systems are the best they have ever been and can recreate an environment similar to the theater. It’s hard to motivate people to get out of their homes and pay for a movie when they can just plop in a dvd to watch on the HD flat screen tv with surround sound. Studios need to convince the public why you would want a theatrical experience of their film.

It’s the entertainment industry as a whole that does well during a recession (movies and tv, etc). However things don’t feel as immune this time as we’re recovering from one strike moving into the next. It will be interesting to see how things unfold…

Posted by eiVega on December 30, 2008, 04:54 PM report to moderator

If WB is so worried about their movies, then it must have been absolute GENIUS to move HBP. They’re worried about fans not being as hyped because of no new books…so they delay the movie 8 months so it’ll be a round 2 years since DH, and move it completely away from TBB (which is the closest they’ll get to a new book). And what for? So they cna keep up their reputation as a wildly successful studio by being top studio in 2009 thanks to HBP. Ugh, what was Jo thinking when she gave them the rights?

Posted by hpboy13 on December 30, 2008, 05:00 PM report to moderator
Victoris Lovegood


Posted by Victoris Lovegood on December 30, 2008, 05:53 PM report to moderator
Victoria Lovegood

sorry, had to say that

Posted by Victoria Lovegood on December 30, 2008, 05:54 PM report to moderator

to get to the theater you got to get a car and a lot of people by then will not have one or they will won,t have a house i know what it is like to be poor if they move the date to next month that people will still have a chance too see it

Posted by david on December 30, 2008, 06:37 PM report to moderator

Dumbledores man through and through!,
Actually, a very small percentage of actors are rich, those are just the only ones we hear about in the news. Most actors have second jobs because they don’t make enough money to live on by just acting.

I totally agree with everything you said except the last sentence. I’m annoyed about them moving the movie, but I’m still glad that she gave them the rights.

Posted by elven*princess221 on December 30, 2008, 07:07 PM report to moderator
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