NEWS

Fewer people watch films in 2005

Everything seems to be going wrong for small-town movie theaters. The year 2004 was only average in terms of ticket sales, and 2005 is proving to be much worse. The season that began this September is registering record lows in ticket sales. As the holidays approach, only two films are seeing success at the box office – «Charlie and the Chocolate Factory» and «The Constant Gardener,» even though five or six films are coming out weekly. Since smaller theaters are struggling, most films are shown just for a couple of weeks, even if throngs of people are buying tickets to see them. In other words, if you don’t catch a film in the first or second week of its run, you may not catch it until it comes out on DVD or video. Movie theaters and companies also have to compete with piracy. In recent years, pirated DVDs have joined unauthorized CDs on the street market. Often, films that have not come out at cinemas appear in often poor-quality DVDs sold on the street. People are also illegally downloading films from the Internet.