Movie studios: A not-so-blockbuster season

Summer box-office tallies are falling short of last year’s $4.4 billion record, adding pressure on Hollywood studios to earn more from their holiday fare to avert a third year of declining sales. With flops including Universal’s Battleship and Tom Cruise’s Rock of Ages from Warner Bros., studios are on track to end the summer with $4.27 billion in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales, down 3 percent from 2011, estimates researcher Box Office. Studios are pinning their hopes on major holiday releases, including a new James Bond flick from Sony and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, The Hobbit from Warner, and the final installment of the Twilight series from Lions Gate Entertainment.

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