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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Variety: 'Slump' doesn't affect everyone equally

Gabriel Snyder's Variety piece is headlined, "Despite the 'slump' studios get a bump."

"...[W]hy is total box office down for the year? Look at the indies. Last year, because of the runaway success of `The Passion of the Christ' and `Fahrenheit 9/11,' independent distribs took in $633 million through the second weekend of July. This year, without a blockbuster to match those titles, the sector has grossed $189 million, a difference of more than $440 million." (An LA Times story today offers some supporting data, reporting that "Murderball," an indie documentary that got great reviews, has only done half the business that its distributor expected.)

Major studios, and "mini-major" studios, have actually seem their revenues climb this year, Snyder reports. Their take in 2005 so far: $4.333 billion at the U.S. box office. Last year to this point: $4.301 billion. Winter and spring were actually quite good for the big players - with flicks like "Hitch" and "Robots." Summer...not so good, so far.

Total box office, because of that indie deficit Snyder cites, is off 8.4 percent this year.