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Lure of Hollywood fading as movie-goers tire of bad films, turn to DVDs, video games

觀眾厭倦好萊塢乏味電影 傾向租DVD

Lure of Hollywood fading as movie-goers tire of bad films, turn to DVDs, video games

Even a much-hyped giant gorilla, a geisha and a schoolboy magician won't be able to create a happy ending at the U.S. box office, as Hollywood ends its most disappointing year in nearly two decades.


Plunging movie ticket sales, after a string of uninspiring remakes and movie sequels coupled with an explosion of the DVD and video game markets, are keeping audiences at home and have sent Hollywood into a deep existential crisis.


“This industry is facing significant challenges,”said Jack Kyser, chief economist of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp, a business support and research body.


Ticket sale revenues dropped five percent in the first 11 months of 2005 while the number of Americans going to the cinema fell by 6.2 percent compared with the same period in 2004, according to box office trackers Exhibitor Relations Co Inc.

根據Exhibitor Relations公司(北美電影票房追蹤統計機構)表示,今年前十一個月票房收入下降百分之五,在美國上電影院的人數下降了百分之六點二(跟去年同時間相比)。

Even the late November and December releases of blockbusters“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,”“King Kong,”“Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe”and“Memoirs of a Geisha”are unlikely to turn around the downward trend.


“It's not just a slump in box office, but also in sales of DVDs,”Kyser told AFP.“This is mainly because of unattractive movies that don't appeal to young male audiences, the cost of movie tickets, parking (and) the shrinking window (between) a movie's theatrical and DVD releases.


In addition, Hollywood faces a major external threat: runaway production costs and the growing trend of movie producers to shoot in places such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand to cash in on much lower staff and production charges.


“Some studios are doing some moderate lay offs. LA's future is at stake,”Kyser said, demonstrating the depth of despair in the US$9-billion a year industry.


“Is it the movies? Is it the ticket prices? Is it because home theater and DVD?,”pondered Exhibitor Relations Co's chief Paul Dergarabedian.”I think because all this is happening at the same time, it is a combination of facts.”

Exhibitor Relations公司總裁保羅.德加拉比迪安表示:「是電影或票價的問題?還是因為人們喜歡在家看電影或DVD?我認為因為這些事情同時發生,所有因素的結合導致此結果。」

But he was optimistic for the future of the industry, saying that when Hollywood does dish up a good film, audiences still go rushing to see it.


Updated : 2021-07-31 01:33 GMT+08:00