Yahoo Finance: Summer Cinema Crunch: Box Office Sales Off to a Slow Start in 2024

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It is the unofficial kickoff to summer this weekend. Millions of Americans are expected to hit the road and fly the skies to enjoy warmer weather and get a break from the grind. We've seen just how popular many forms of in-person entertainment have been in the past year, so there's reason for optimism on the consumption front.

Recall that about a year ago, the "Taylor Swift Effect" drove improved economic growth in certain regions (no joke, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve said as much), and strong ratings and ticket sales have been seen for other artists and in live sports.[1] It doesn't hurt that, as of this writing, a pair of New York professional sports teams are making playoff runs too.

But not all entertainment venues have been welcoming boisterous crowds. So far in 2024, domestic gross box office sales are down 24% from year-ago levels through May 15, according to IMDbPro.[2] It comes as Hollywood struggles to put out popular blockbusters and as continued drama in the media-enterprise space casts a dark cloud over out-of-the-house entertainment.