Hollywood ticket sales climb for first time in three years in 2012 as industry sets new box office record

By Daniel S Levine,

This year might have started rough for Hollywood, but the news at the end of 2012 could not make the industry happier. For the first time in three years, ticket sales went up, mostly thanks to big hits like Marvel’s The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. Hollywood also set another record for total box office revenue.

Domestic box office revenue hit an all time high with $10.8 billion, just passing the $10.6 billion in 2009, notes The Associated Press. It’s also up 6 percent over 2011.

The bigger story for Hollywood is that more people are actually going to the movies. Inflation and high ticket prices sometimes cloud the actual attendance numbers at the movies, but 2012 saw 1.36 billion tickets sold. That was up to 5.6 percent, according to Hollywood.com. Still, that’s far below the all-time record set in 2002, when 1.6 billion tickets were sold.

Hollywood.com’s Paul Dergarabedian told USA Today that the movies released on Christmas day - Django Unchained and Les Miserables - will give Hollywood a nice boost at the end of the year. “Unless these movies do vastly different business than we're expecting, 2012 is going to end strongly,” he explained. “This has been quite the comeback year.”

Still, we no longer live in a movie-dominated society as more people decide to watch movies at home, enjoy critically acclaimed TV shows and seek other forms of entertainment. “We still have a ways to go to get back to the old days, when movies ruled all entertainment,” Exhibitor Relations’ Jeff Block told USA Today. “But at least we're moving in the right direction.”

Ticket prices also rose to an average $7.94 from $7.50 last year.

According to Box Office Mojo’s statistics, The Avengers was the top-grossing movie of 2012 in North America with $623.3 million. The Dark Knight Rises followed with $448.1 million. The Hunger Games ($408 million), Skyfall ($285 million) and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 ($283 million) made up the rest of the Top 5.



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