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Hollywood Now Cast as Sensible

January 25, 2009

Carney’s on Sunset Strip is normally a busy pit stop for burgers and shakes. Last Wednesday night, just before the Oscar nominations announcement, a lonely counterman took my order. While I sat there, a tourist from Poland ordered and began chatting with the short-order cook. “Where are all the parties on Sunset?” he asked.

The counterman explained that things had been really, really slow. “What is wrong with this town?” asked the customer. The movie business, the counterman said. Studios like Warner Brothers, Paramount and Universal had all had layoffs. The customer was confused: “But people are still going to the movies, so how can that be?”

He has a point. According to Box Office Guru, theater revenues are up 9 percent so far this year and the recent Martin Luther King’s Birthday weekend was the biggest in history, surpassing Memorial Day weekend and Thanksgiving weekend. Last year, the movie business managed to meet a slight dip in attendance with a higher ticket price to end up flat for the year, which we all know is the new up. Read more.