Hollywood has been the last refuge of the hit, the one industry that seemed to be able to resist the force of gravity dragging down blockbusters everywhere else. This year's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, which set a box office record in its opening weekend, seemed to prove that the movie-making business still had the gift of mobilizing mass audiences. But no other film this year has done nearly as well, and when you look at the industry at large, the year so far isn't looking good at all. Total ticket sales (in tickets, not dollars) are down 9% from 2004, and it if weren't for Pirates, they'd be down 15%. The last refuge isn't looking so safe anymore.
Source: BoxOfficeMojo (YTD calculations with numbers of tickets require a subscription)