Regal Entertainment Group

Even with 'Star Wars' surge, moviegoing could hit 22-year low. Blame bad sequels, rising ticket prices and streaming

Even with 'Star Wars' surge, moviegoing could hit 22-year low. Blame bad sequels, rising ticket prices and streaming

Hollywood is celebrating the end of 2017 with astronomical sales from “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which is on track to soon exceed $1 billion in global ticket sales and eventually become the biggest movie of the year. But that won’t be enough to write a happy storyline for the industry.

Although 2017 movie ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada are expected to dip just below last year's record of $11.38 billion, the number of tickets sold is projected to drop 4% to 1.26 billion — the lowest level since 1995, according to preliminary estimates from studio executives.

The falloff in ticket sales can mostly be explained by a handful of movies that flopped,...

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