Low turnout at movies should rise

By Rocio Lopez

With big blockbusters coming out this summer, box-office numbers are low for this time of year.

Bryan Jeffries, film buyer for GKC Carmike Cinemas, thinks that compared to last year’s numbers, this is a soft summer.

“It’s been a decent summer; not as good as last year,” Jeffries said.

Jeffries believes people are making a big deal about the numbers being so low. Movies like “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” which had a strong opening at theaters last weekend, and the upcoming “Batman Begins” and “War of the Worlds” are expected to do well, Jeffries said.

Matt Melander, customer service representative for Dollar Video, thinks the low turnout is due to the quality of the movies.

“Part of it is because there haven’t been many good movies,” Melander said.

The fact that movies are coming out in DVD format quicker than before is a contributing factor to the slower traffic at theaters, Melander said.

The number of times a movie is seen by the same person has to be taken into consideration.

“The smaller films in between (blockbusters) don’t receive the repeat viewing,” Jeffries said.

DreamWorks SKG experienced a 7-percent drop in its stock price when its animated movie “Madagascar” failed to meet investor expectations, according to CNN.

“People just want the whole experience,” Melander said. “People are just picky.”

Melander has not seen a difference in business over the summer.

“We have more families (coming in),” he said.

The revenue generated by movies like “The Passion of the Christ” and “Fahrenheit 9/11” has made it hard to catch up this summer, Melander said.

With the upcoming release of “King Kong” and the new Harry Potter movie, box office numbers are expected to increase by the end of the year, Jeffries said.