Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Non-Fairytale Ending for 2011 Movie B.O. — Time to Blame the Internet Again (Or Just Bad Movies)?

According to the expected year-end box-office data figures compiled by Hollywood.com, the industry raked in $10.1 billion for 2011 in North America.

While that seems like a nice haul, it’s 4.5 percent less than in 2010. While not enough to result a major downturn in limo-riding and Botox, the results are likely to cause entertainment moguls some worry, since they are accompanied by continuing trends, including another year of lower attendance.

And given that the revenue was unusually bolstered by more higher-priced 3-D movie-ticket prices — Hollywood released several dozen 3-D films in 2011, double the previous year’s amount — the latest numbers are even more disappointing.

While some holiday movies did well — namely “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” which has taken in about $70 million domestically since its opening less than two weeks ago — it pales in comparison to such digital hits as Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 videogame, which pulled in $400 million in one day from the much-desired youth market.

It surpassed $1 billion in sales in 16 days, eclipsing the box office of the blockbuster movie “Avatar,” which took 17 days to gross seven figures.

Does that mean that the continued competition for the leisure time of pretty much everyone between digital and analog has gotten worse — an epic battle of the movie industry versus game players, tablets and smartphones?

Or is it because so many movies made in 2011 turned out to be just awful? (If you saw “New Year’s Eve,” you’ll know exactly what I mean.)

One thing is clear: No one is going to pay for poor-quality content, no matter the screen size.

More number-crunching to come, as the industry debates the issue into 2012 (coincidentally, the title of a movie I happened to like, as you can see below!), and at the upcoming D: Dive Into Media at the end of the month, down near Los Angeles, in the belly of the Web-smacked beast.

Until then, let’s hope it does not come to this next year:


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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle