Monday, September 01, 2008

Hollywood Scores A $4 Billion Summer...

Click images to enlarge...

According to box office tracker Media By Numbers, the theatrical movie business is expected to set a summer revenue record of US$4.2 billion from the first weekend in May through Labour Day.

"It is truly one of the least-expensive ways to entertain yourself for a few hours," said Sony's Rory Bruer, whose summer releases included Will Smith's $200-million-hit "Hancock".

Warner Bros. 'Batman' sequel "The Dark Knight", at $500 million and counting, amounted to one-eighth of overall Hollywood revenues, passing "Star Wars" to rank No. 2 on the domestic revenue chart, behind "Titanic" at $600.8 million.

"We would not be looking at a $4 billion summer if not for "The Dark Knight", according to Paul Dergarabedian, Media By Numbers.

"In this case, one film made a huge difference."

"The Dark Knight" and "Hancock" joined four other superhero films, including Paramount's "Iron Man", Universal's "The Incredible Hulk" and "Hellboy II: The Golden Army", to ring up $1.25 billion, or 30 per cent of the summer box office. Add in a $315 million take for Paramount's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull".

Animated features "WALL-E" from Disney and "Kung Fu Panda" from DreamWorks both topped $200 million. Warner's "Sex and the City" and Universal's "Mamma Mia!", both scored $100 million.

"It's the old story," said Warner's Dan Fellman.

"Give the people what they want and they'll come out in big numbers..."