The end of the year brought an unexpected crisis to Hollywood in the form of the Sony hack attack. This at a time when the movie industry is already suffering from a bad year at the box office. The holiday season is usually when studios hope for healthy ticket sales, but 2014 may not bring much Christmas cheer. CCTV America’s May Lee reported from Los Angeles.
It has already been a very Merry Christmas for “The Hobbit”, “The Battle of the Five Armies.” The final chapter in the trilogy is bringing in big box office receipts worldwide since it opened last week.
The holiday movie season follows the worst summer in nearly a decade. Nearly 20 percent of annual movie revenues are made during the holidays. Unlike “The Hobbit”, other releases have not yet lived up to expectations.
A hard knock year got much worse for Hollywood when Sony Pictures cancelled the Christmas Day release of “The Interview” after a crippling cyber attack, which the U.S. blames on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
However, on Tuesday, Sony Pictures announced “The Interview” would be released on Christmas in select theaters around the country. This reversal came after a coalition of independent theaters pledged to show the film if Sony allowed it.
While the release of “The Interview” is a moral victory, industry experts said it will do little to save a tough year in Hollywood.
“The industry just wants to get out of this hard luck year of 2014 and move into 2015 which is expected to be the biggest box office year ever. Expecting $11 billion for the first time in North America,” Paul Dergarabedian of Rentrak said.
That prediction is because of huge franchise films slated for release in 2015 that already have a built in fan base including “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
And for Christmas next year, the highly anticipated “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
These blockbuster films are equally and, sometimes, more successful in markets outside of North America.
“China is growing at an amazing rate every year in terms of box office. In fact, by the end of decade, the box office in China will exceed North America. By 2025, it could more than double North America revenues. So you can see how important China is,” Dergarabedian added.
IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond discusses the IMAX camera technology
2014 may have been lackluster for regular movie theaters, but IMAX had a successful year continuing to draw viewers to the big screen experience. 2015 is expected to be an even bigger year for IMAX with several blockbusters slated for release, including the next Bond movie and the Seventh Star Wars film. CCTV America’s Michelle Makori spoke with IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond and asked him what is unique about the IMAX camera technology.