February box office sank to record lows of $291.4 million, the first time in five years that the month’s receipts have dipped below $300 million. It represented a 21% decline from 1994 and was off by about 25% from the best Groundhog month, back in 1991.
Approximately 20 million fewer tickets were torn during the frame.
Variety estimates that approximately 66.5 million admissions were registered in the domestic market.
Sony led the individual market share, nabbing 20.5% on box office of $59.7 million.
The company also had the top single title with the TriStar release “Legends of the Fall.”
A year ago, a comparable distrib gross would have ranked third. “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” the February 1994 pic champ, was 40% heartier than “Legends” for the period.
The lack of potent mainstream releases clearly had trickle-down impact in the industry.
Indie companies saw their portion of the big picture grow by close to 20%, but the actual number of dollars generated was down by 7%.
The picture improves slightly when niche pictures are factored into the equation and show a slim gain.