Moviegoing Hit a 20-Year Low in 2014

TIME

Blame Netflix and a crop of uninspiring blockbusters: Movie theaters had their lowest turnout in two decades last year.

Moviegoers purchased just 1.26 billion movie tickets in 2014, the lowest number since 1.21 billion in 1995, according to early estimates. Attendance dropped 6% from 2013. Overall revenue is projected to finish at $10.36 billion, down 5% year-over-year, the sharpest decline in the industry in nine years, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

The most likely culprit for the slumping numbers are blockbuster sequels that underperformed compared to previous installments. The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Transformers: Age of Extinction and even The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 all failed to meet their predecessors’ box office numbers, perhaps finally proving to studios that big franchises are not a sure bet. The surprising success of non-sequels like Guardians of the Galaxy (the top grossing movie of the year), The LEGO Movie and Maleficent

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