I've been calling that the "Hollywood Mumble." It's a serious problem for me. On one occasion I put a GRAY BAND countryman B6 on the back of a guy's earlobe and still wasn't able to get enough gain to raise his voice above -24 dB. The woman acting across from him couldn't tell when he was finished delivering his lines, because his lips weren't moving enough to know when he was talking. It was hilarious; there would be huge gaps after each of his lines, where she was trying to figure out of he was still speaking. The boom picked up NOTHING.
It's a problem I've noticed with actors from Los Angeles, although it's starting with Vancouver actors too. Sometimes it seems like they're competing to see who can speak quietest. I hate it!
In one film, we shot a scene that was supposed to be in a crowded nightclub with a band playing, and they delivered their lines so quietly that when you watch it, it seems implausible that they'd be able to hear each other in a NORMAL room. It drives me crazy. I want to give them those tiny Phonak receivers, one in each ear, and blast death metal at them over an IFB system so they can't hear themselves or each other unless they speak at a level that doesn't break the audience's suspension of disbelief.