Disappointing end for to get back on course



Box Office 2009: A Very Good Year
By Richard Corliss Monday, Jan. 04, 2010

At the North American box office, the top-grossing movie released in 2009
was Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
That sentence will self-destruct some time this month.

In the early summer, Transformers 2 steamrollered all competition on its way
to becoming only the ninth movie in history to earn $400 million at the
domestic box office. Then, as if not just in response but rebuttal to this
mass-produced entertainment, came Avatar, the James Cameron sci-fi
spectacular that has earned $350 million in its first 2½ weeks and, in about
the same time, should overtake the Transformers sequel. It has already
passed the billion-dollar mark at the worldwide box office (Transformers 2
topped out at $800 million), quickly becoming the fourth highest-grossing
all-timer after the second Pirates of the Caribbean film, the final Lord of
the Rings installment and, at the top, a little love story called Titanic.
The ultimate face-off of Cameron vs. Cameron is still down the road. But in
2009's cosmic economic battle of extraterrestrials - the Autobots and
Decepticons of the Michael Bay movie and the Pandorans of Cameron's - the
blue people will soon triumph. (See the best movies of the decade.)

This may not have been the time to expand the Oscar category for Best
Picture from five films to 10, but studio bosses will say it was a very good
year. No matter what else Americans skimped on when they got slammed by the
Great Recession, they didn't stop going to the movies. For the first time
ever, the annual box-office total exceeded $10 billion ($10.5851, to get
into pi calculations), outpacing the previous record, in 2008, by nearly
10%. The number of tickets sold, 1.474 billion, was the highest of the past
five years - though lower than sales in any year from 2001 to 2004, when the
big franchises (Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Spider-Man, Shrek, Harry
Potter) were really cooking. Inflation explains the variance between dollars
earned and tickets sold. Ticket prices keep rising; and with Avatar charging
road-show fees and getting away with it, look for Hollywood to keep
following the Starbucks model: persuade the customers that your product is
premium, and charge them for the privilege of buying it.

Read more:


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question