The movies continue to be bad and television continues to be good. That, I suppose, is one explanation why 2014 was a terrible year at the Box Office, with movie attendance the worst since 1995, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Why pay to see junk like Transformers–Age of Extinction when you can stay home and watch excellent TV such as Boardwalk Empire or The Knick? 1.26 billion tickets were sold in North America (in 1995 it was 1.21 billion). Hollywood is set to earn revenues of just over $10 billion, down 5% from 2013, the largest year-over-year decline in nine years.
The all-time Box Office high was in 2002 when 1.57 billion tickets were bought. As THR reports, that year saw blockbusters such as Spider-Man ($403 million), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers ($339.8 million), Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones ($302.2 million), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ($262 million) and My Big Fat Greek Wedding ($241.4 million). And of course, in 2002 the current Golden Age of Television was in its infancy: while both The Wire and The Shield started that year, the TV landscape was marked by a proliferation of reality shows like The Bachelor, American Idol, and I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here.