Every now and then I read another doom-and-gloom piece about the summer’s disappointing (i.e., not as good last year’s) box-office performance. “Downward spiral,” “big drop,” etc. The top ten films so far have grossed $130 million vs. $174 million last year. 2014 is down 6% from 2013. Could that have something to do with a mortifying awareness that the majority of summer movies are intended to be downmarket CG-driven shite? Not to mention that (a) ticket and popcorn prices are ridiculous, (b) many urban theatres are filled with yakking low-life apes munching on jalapeno nachos and checking their brightly glaring cell phones, (c) the varied VOD and streaming options are highly competitive and attractive plus cable dramas seem much more satisfying to anyone with a smidgen of taste. Theatrical attendance levels are presumably still dropping. Two years ago Goldman Sachs analysts Drew Borst and Fred Krom concluded that ticket buys were at a 25-year low with under-30 attendance down 40% since 2002. The theatre experience has been declining for a long while, and action movies…I don’t want to talk about it. Megaplex summer is just something to endure, get through, wait out. Life begins with Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York, and then the season begins. There are many, many good to great films about to unfurl. It’s simply a matter of ignoring the diversions made for the downmarket mob, and of course the mob itself.