Moviegoing fell to its lowest level in nearly a decade while the costs to market films continued to increase, especially for smaller, specialized ones, the Motion Picture Association of America said last week.
The association's annual box office marketing report marked a formal certification of the sluggish box office trend that caused Hollywood so much anxiety last year.
U.S. theatrical admissions dropped nearly 9 percent to 1.4 billion, the lowest figure since 1997, the association said. Sales abroad dropped 9 percent.
Among the biggest changes: a 33 percent increase in spending to market specialty films, reflecting their growing popularity among moviegoers and how competitive that segment of the business has become.
Last year's high-profile specialty releases included "March of the Penguins," "Capote," "Brokeback Mountain" and "Good Night, and Good Luck."