Analyzing the ape
From John Horn's article in today's LA Times about `King Kong':
Although "King Kong" was No. 1 at the box office, the unexpectedly sluggish opening adds to growing fears that U.S. audiences might be forsaking the multiplex: For the first time in more than 40 years, Hollywood by year's end will have recorded declining attendance for three consecutive years.
In 2005, North American attendance will total about 1.4 billion tickets, down more than 6% from the previous year, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Total box-office receipts should be about $8.7 billion, down from $9.2 billion in 2004, according to Nielsen EDI Inc.
"This was one of the films that was supposed to help get the business back to last year's levels, and clearly it didn't happen," Richard Greenfield, a media analyst with Fulcrum Global Partners, said of "King Kong."