Movies | August 29, 2017 2:08 pm

Summer Blockbuster Apocalypse: U.S. Box Office Sales Hit Historic Nadir

With attendance, ticket sales down, totals set to dip 16 percent, sharpest decline in modern times.

The Reviews Are in for 'Transformers: The Last Knight' ... and It's Laughably Bad
Josh Duhamel stars in 'Transformers: The Last Knight' (Paramount Pictures)

Remember all the buzz around Armageddon and that insufferable Aerosmith song from its soundtrack playing every hour on the hour on the radio or MTV?

Nowadays, Hollywood movie execs can only dream of another 1998—or pretty much any other summer in recent history. That’s because, according to The Hollywood Reporter, summer box office numbers will fall to historic lows following the upcoming Labor Day weekend, down 15.7 percent year-over-year, per comScore.

To put that into perspective, that’s the sharpest decline in the modern era, 1.4 percent lower than the most recent nadir in 2014. It’ll also be the first in 11 years that summer box office revenue didn’t crack $4 billion. Attendance is also down, as is the number of tickets sold.

The culprit? Lackluster choices at U.S. theaters, which included the critically accosted Transformers: The Last Knight and embattled actor Johnny Depp vehicle, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Other titles just completely bombed, including a highly anticipated adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower and the priciest indie movie of all time, Valerian.

That is not to say that there weren’t any clear winners. Superhero flicks, including the glass-ceiling-shattering Wonder Woman and reboot-y Spider-Man: Homecoming, took theaters by storm, raking in a combined $725 million in the U.S. alone.