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Will 'Avengers: Age of Ultron,' 007 and 'Star Wars' turn Hollywood's box office fortunes around?
It wasn't a good year at the box office for Hollywood's movie studios, but it was certainly a bad year for theater owners. 2014 will have the lowest gross total since 2008 and the fewest tickets sold since 1995. Granted, its still going to be the sixth straight year of $10 billion in grosses, but while the studios have had less true financial disasters on their hands as in pervious years, theater owners aren't so happy. Less ticket buyers means less people in seats which means less people buying concessions which is where ether really make their money. A number of major releases also substantially underperformed domestically this fall including "Interstellar," "Mockingjay" and "Penguins of Madagascar" which have some wondering if this is significant trend. The hope? 2015 has a monster lineup including "Avengers: Age of Ultron," the new James Bond flick "Spectre," the long awaited "Jurassic World," the last chapter of "Hunger Games" with "Mockingjay, Pt. 2" and a little flick called 'Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens." Plus the first completely original Pixar film since 2012 and potential triple hits like "Pitch Perfect 2," "Fast and Furious 7," "Kingsman: The Secret Service" and "Get Hard," among others. Could that slump turn into a record haul?
Likely outcome: There will definitely be a number of under performing titles and some shockingly weak summer weekends, but 2015 is just too stacked for Hollywood and theater owners to be sitting pretty a year from now. Ticket sales may come close to the the 1.4 million mark and box office could tease $11 billion.