AMERICAN filmgoers may be growing tired of Hollywood epics with bloated budgets, after domestic box office figures for 2004 showed a 2.25 per cent drop in cinema attendance, after a 3.8 per cent drop last year.
Blockbuster films now routinely cost more than $100 million (Â£52 million) to make, plus tens of millions in marketing and advertising expenses. Big budget films that disappointed at the box office included Catwoman, starring Halle Berry; Hidalgo; The Alamo; and Chronicles of Riddick.
The worrying figures, compiled by Exhibitor Relations, a company that tracks receipts, come less than two weeks before the end of the box office year, and just as studios are ramping up their Oscar campaigns. The good news for Hollywood is that, overall, film revenues are likely to be up, because of a 3.8 per cent rise in US ticket prices during 2004.
Total box office receipts are likely to reach $9.4 ...