Movies like "Avatar," "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" contributed to 2009's record-breaking $10.6 billion domestic box office total, and it doesn't look like 2010's crop of flicks will be able to outdo that.
Hollywood Wiretap reports that 2010 has fallen just short of 2009's record-breaking box office intake, finishing the year out with $10.556 billion to its name. You can thank "Toy Story 3" ($415M), "Alice in Wonderland" ($334.2M) and "Iron Man 2" ($312.1M) for that high number, with those three films serving as the top three moneymakers of 2010. "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" ($300.5M) and "Inception" ($292.5M) rank closely behind at fourth and fifth place.
But while 2010 marks only the second time in box office history that full year revenues are past the $10 billion line, it also marks the second lowest attended year of the decade after 2008... and the single lowest summer attendance of any year since 2000.
That last blemish isn't entirely surprising when you look at how this past summer's blockbusters performed at the box office. Movies like "Prince of Persia" ($90.8M), "Knight & Day" ($76.4M) and "The A-Team" ($77.2M) failed to rake in nearly as much money as many had anticipated, with one of the biggest flops of the season identified as "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World," which ranks as only the 86th highest grossing film of 2010 at $31.5 million earned domestically.
Lately, ticket prices have been rising for normal performances and rising even higher for 3-D and IMAX showings. When considering the fact that two of the top five movies of the year made much of their money from 3-D locations, it's not difficult to see how 2010 could still break past the $10 billion barrier while suffering relatively low attendance records.
But on the upside, as Hollywood Wiretap astutely points out, 2010 was also an excellent year for movies on a creative level, what with critical darlings like "Black Swan" and "The Social Network." With several equally compelling pictures on the horizon in 2011, we're feeling pretty optimistic about next year's cinematic offerings, both on the creative and commercial levels.
Tell us what you think of this year's box office revenue in the comments section and on Twitter!