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U.S. Film Industry in Turmoil During 2005

"Good Riddance '05, Hollywood's Annus Horribilis" -- that's the bleak headline of the Hollywood Reporter's annual assessment of the U.S. film industry -- Looking back at Hollywood in 2005 it's hard not to say Good Riddance and assess it as Elizabeth II did when she called 1992 an Annus Horribilis after fire nearly destroyed Windsor Castle and scandals rocked the Royal Family.

The past year was marked by an almost unending boxoffice slump reflecting not only under-performing movies, but major changes in how Americans seem to feel about movies and moviegoing. 2005 has to have been one of the most stressful periods in modern Hollywood history.

Many factors contributed to this, including, of course, the quality -- or, perhaps, the lack of quality -- of many of the films that went into release last year. To some extent, it would be more comforting if it was only a question of quality because then it would be a temporary aberration that could be corrected by green lighting different kinds of projects. Unfortunately, there's a long list of troubling factors that also have to be considered as part of the overall malaise Hollywood found itself suffering from in 2005.

In no particular order, these include such things as movie admissions declining, ticket prices rising, video piracy soaring, production costs running wild, stars behaving badly, young male audiences eroding, guild leaderships turning militant, the DVD business maturing, network TV shares falling, marketing expenses escalating, in-theater commercials proliferating, video on demand growing, gasoline prices reducing non-essential driving, mini-majors falling by the wayside, home theaters becoming more affordable and new entertainment opportunities springing up through the Internet, iPods, Xboxes, SlingBoxes and mobile phones.

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