North American Box Office Revenue Hits Record Levels Year-to-Date

Courtesy of Universal Pictures
'Jurassic World'

The boom is thanks to stampeding dinosaurs, superheroes, S&M and much more.

North American box-office revenue has hit an all time record year-to-date, a significant achievement after last year's downturn.

Through Tuesday, revenue for 2015 stood at $6.863 billion, narrowly besting the $6.783 billion earned between Jan. 1 and Aug. 3 in 2013.

"Look at the huge franchise films we've had this year," said Rentrak analyst Paul Dergarabedian. He also credited titles such as American Sniper, Cinderella, Fifty Shades of Grey and Kingsman: The Secret Service.

So far, the top-grossing title of the year domestically is Universal's Jurassic World with a T. Rex-like cume of $632.2 million, the best showing of all time behind Avatar ($760.5 million) and Titanic ($658.8 million); Disney and Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron ($456.9 million); Universal's Furious 7 ($351 million); Disney and Pixar's Inside Out ($330.4 million); and Universal and Illumination's Minions ($289.6 million).

While things may slow in August, sans a Guardians of the Galaxy, Dergarabedian and other box office experts remain confident that 2015 will be a record year, eclipsing the $10.9 billion grossed in 2013. Event titles waiting in the wings include Ridley Scott's The Martian (Oct. 2), James Bond installment Spectre (Nov. 6), the final Hunger Games film (Nov. 20) and Pixar and Disney's The Good Dinosaur (Nov. 25). Then there's J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Dec. 18), the most anticipated movie of the year.

That doesn't mean there haven't been misses, and it may not be a record summer. Tentpoles that have disappointed include Sony's Pixels, Disney's Tomorrowland and Terminator: Genisys, from Paramount and Skydance. Several R-rated comedies have also flailed, including Entourage, Ted 2 and Magic Mike XXL.