Hollywood on Track for Record Summer Box Office (Report)

Warner Bros.

Boxofficemojo.com predicts the May-August haul will rise 6% over last year to $3.9 billion thanks to such hits as "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2."

NEW YORK – Hollywood is on track for a record summer box office thanks to higher 3D ticket prices and a slight attendance increase with the latest forecast from a prognosticator calling for a 6 percent improvement over last year.
Boxofficemojo.com estimates that the May-August haul will reach $3.9 billion, the New York Post reported.

The forecast comes after a record-breaking $1.4 billion box office haul in July that left summer box office revenue in North America up 4 percent over last year.

The Post cited 3D films, such as the final installment of the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, which earlier this month became the third-highest grossing film of all time, as a key driver. During the summer of 2010, movie studios released seven major 3D films. This summer has seen 12 so far, with four more to come, the paper highlighted.

Meanwhile, Hollywood has sold 482 million tickets this summer, a slight improvement over last year’s weak performance, but that is still the third-weakest result since the turn of the century, the Post said.

“The 3D grosses were up, but that’s mainly because there were more 3D movies and more 3D screens versus last summer,” Brandon Gray, president of Boxofficemojo.com, told the paper.

Experts have highlighted that 3D tickets have this year represented a lower percentage of overall ticket sales though. Two of the summer’s biggest hits - The Hangover 2 and Bridesmaids – were 2D comedies, the Post pointed out.

Hollywood is hoping that the summer boost will further narrow the year-to-date box office decline. As of the end of July, box office revenue for the year-to-date remained down 5 percent though driven by a sharp downturn in moviegoing earlier in the year.