Indies Fight to Survive as Marketplace Undergoes Radical Changes
For CinemaCon’s annual gathering of theater owners in Las Vegas, the Motion Picture Assn.
of America released a new report showing a 6% drop in theatrical attendance in the U.S.
and Canada in 2017, representing a 22-year low.Though the breakout success of “Black Panther” is likely to quiet some worries about superhero fatigue, distributors and exhibitors working the mid-range and low-budget end of the spectrum are facing some doubts about the viability of their product in the age of tentpoles and streaming media.The situation isn’t dire.
A largely tepid year for specialty releases was offset by a strong awards-season showing for a handful of films.
The breakouts of 2017 included “The Shape of Water” ($63.5 million), “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” ($54.2 million), “Lady Bird” ($48.9 million), “The Big Sick” ($42.8 million) and “Wind River” ($33.8 million).“It’s definitely a tough time,” says Jeff Bock, box office analyst for the tracking firm Exhibitor Relations.
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