Hollywood eyes record $10 billion box office for 2009

Hollywood finished the year with a record $10.61 billion in ticket sales, up 8 percent from 2008. Admissions were up 4 percent to 1.41 billion but failed to break the record set in 2002 when 1.60 billion tickets were sold. The top-grossing movie of the year was Paramount’s Transformers Revenge of the Fallen with $402.1 million. However, that figure is almost certain to be eclipsed by Fox’s Avatar , which has already earned $352.1 million. Warner Bros. was the top-earning studio, setting a record with $2.13 billion, representing 20 percent of the industry’s total. Paramount placed second with $1.46 billion, followed by Fox with $1.45 billion, Sony with $1.44 billion, and Disney with $1.21 billion. The 2009 solid results came about despite labor unrest within the film industry, turmoil at the executive level of many studios, wholesale firings at lower levels, depressed media stock prices, and cutbacks in overall production — not to mention the general effect of the worldwide economic downturn.

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