Hollywood had a pretty crappy summer last year, with predicted blockbusters like The Dark Tower, The Mummy, and Transformers: The Last Knight all failing to do much in the way of busting blocks. Now that we’ve got the actual numbers for the year’s overall ticket sales, it turns out that said lethargy managed to infect the rest of the annual box office, too; despite what was, generally a pretty good year from a critical point of view, Variety is reporting that U.S. movie ticket sales dropped by 6 percent in 2017, making it one of the worst years in decades. (Really, though, it was probably just Rotten Tomatoes’ fault.)
That 6 percent number may not sound huge, but it’s worth remembering that it represents roughly $80 million, and makes 2017 the least successful U.S. movie year since 1995. Meanwhile, average ticket prices have never been higher; the continued prevalence of 3D showings, and the popularity of big cinematic events like Star Wars: The Last Jedi—complete with their big, cinematic price tags—meant that the average consumer (or their friends at MoviePass) ended up shelling out $8.97 per ticket in 2017, up from $8.65 the previous year.