Why film theaters present so few movies now

Why movie theaters show so few films now


After “Bullet Train,” Sony’s action flick starring Brad Pitt, hits theaters next week, the movie slate for August, September and October becomes desolate. It’s hard to find any blockbusters in the mix. In fact, there aren’t many films that could open beyond $50 million at the box office until Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which doesn’t debut until November 11.
The dearth of films comes in a year that’s already well behind pre-pandemic output from Hollywood. At this point in 2019, there were 63 nationwide releases in North America, according to Comscore (SCOR). This year the number is 39 — a 38% drop from three years ago.
Despite the lag, 2022 has mostly held its own. Ticket sales are roughly 30% behind pre-pandemic levels in 2019, which is pretty good considering the lack of movies hitting theaters.

So where are all the movies? There’s still a lot being produced and released, but many are either headed directly to streaming or being delayed because the industry is…