2014 was the worst year for movie ticket sales in two decades

The numberĀ 1.26 billion might not seem like a small number, but that’s the smallest that movie theater ticket sales have been since 1995, where the number was around 1.21 billion. While many would say that the rise of piracy and legitimate online streaming services may have taken a bite out of ticket sales, the sales numbers have historically fluctuated this way due to the varying popularity of blockbusters released every year.

If you noticed a little more elbow room while you were at the movies last year, it probably wasn’t the result of recliner chairs at your cineplex. As The Hollywood Reporter tells it, only about 1.26 billion folks bought movie tickets between New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve in 2014 — the lowest ticket sales figures have been since 1995 (1.21 billion sold). It’s a six percent decrease compared to 2013, as well, when the number of tickets sold amounted to 1.34 billion butts in seats. THR also reports that in terms of dollars, sales dropped compared to last year too, seeing a five percent decline, which apparently is the biggest year-to-year fall in almost a decade.

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