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Last year was one of the worst for Hollywood in nearly two decades, at least in terms of getting people to the box office. Preliminary estimates suggest that the number of people in North America that went to the movies in 2014 slid to a low not realized since 1995.
Between January 1 and December 31, 2014, an estimated 1.26 billion consumers purchased movie tickets. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, that's barely better than the 1.24 billion sold in 1994 albeit not as bad as the 1.21 billion that went to the movies in 1995. As it stands, attendance appears to be down roughly six percent when compared to 2013.
The last time admission fell below 1.3 billion was in 2011 when just 1.28 billion tickets were sold to theater-goers.
It's worth reiterating that these are preliminary figures; official numbers won't be ready until the National Association of Theater Owners finalizes financials for the fourth quarter.
Among the many potential reasons for declining attendance is likely ticket pricing. Estimates reveal an average ticket price of $8.15 for 2014 which, when combined with the number of tickets sold, results in a forecasted overall revenue of $10.36 billion.
That's down five percent compared to the year-ago period and represents the biggest year-over-year decline in nine years.
A number of underperforming summer movies also led to lower-than-anticipated showings including The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Transformers: Age of Extinction.