After its strong 2018 -- with U.S. box-office revenue up over 7% versus a year before -- this year has hit some massive double-digit percentage declines.
In the first quarter, revenues were down 16% to $2.8 billion, according to Box Office Mojo. Tickets sold (attendance) dropped 19% to 254 million, per B.Riley FBR and other industry data.
The decline in box-office revenue follows movie studio marketing. Three months into 2019, U.S. theatrical film spending on national TV is well under levels of a year ago -- down 18% to $489.4 million, according to iSpot.tv.
For the most
recent week, Warner Bros.' “Shazam!” posted top U.S. box-office revenue of $25.1 million, according to Box Office Mojo. For the year-to-date, Walt Disney’s “Captain
has seen the best overall U.S. results, at $386.6 million.
U.S. box-office revenue in the second quarter will be up from last year’s period -- but just barely, at 2.4%.
The second quarter of 2018 witnessed a strong 24% rise. A year ago, “Black Panther,” which ended the year as the biggest grossing movie of 2018, with $700 million in box-office revenue, debuted February 16.
The second quarter typically starts the big season for movie studio’s theatrical business, with many strong summer blockbuster movies. A year ago, in the second quarter, Disney debuted "Avengers: Infinity War" ($678.8 million) and “Incredibles 2” ($608.6 million). The fourth-biggest movie last year was Universal Studios’ ''Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” ($417.7 million).
Eric Wold, entertainment analyst for B.Riley FBR, estimates virtually flat results for the full-year U.S. box office -- down 0.4% to $11.8 billion.
Key tickets sold for 2019 are projected to be down 3.4% to 1.25 billion, per B.Riley FBR. In 2018, attendance grew 4.4% Full year estimates are the average movie ticket price is estimated to rise 3% to $9.49 in 2019.