Movie Attendance Way Down for 2011

Only 1.275 billion people actually went to a theater to watch a movie in 2011. That's the lowest attendance in 16 years.

There were high hopes that the man vs. machine saga of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” would help transform the lackadaisical attitude of folks trying to make their way to the multiplex in 2011.

And there were hopes that Harry Potter would wave his wand in the “Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” enticing fans to slither-on-in.

And that fans of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1” would get people out of the house, even if only after the sun went down to howl at the screen.

Well those movies did pack in the people, but there were also plenty of high-profile movies like “Conan the Barbarian,” “Mars Needs Moms” and “Hugo” which did not.

People seem to need more motivation to go to the theater to see a movie.

"More time. Cheaper tickets," according to Debbie Kaplan, who only goes to the movies occasionally. "Time and money. Time is the new money, right?"

Occasional moviegoer Lordes Ruiz said 3D movies are much more expensive.


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Thanks to those higher ticket prices for things like 3D, the actual domestic box office take was only off 3.5 percent from last year, but the number of actual people in the seats was at a 16-year low.

About 1.23 billion movie tickets were purchased in 2011 -- that's 106 million fewer than last year, 279 million fewer than 2009 and 108 million fewer than 2008.

Tom Cruise’s, “Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol” did prove it is possible to do well, and 2012 does have the potential of an attendance comeback, too, with several big name films like “The Dark Knight Rises,” and “Men in Black III” waiting for their turn at box office gold.

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