2012 To Set Box Office Record

The domestic box office is expected to top $10 billion this year. After two solid years of decline, the U.S. box office enjoyed a nearly 6 percent jump.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Executives in Hollywood must be doing something right, though. Movie grosses are expected to top $10 billion this year.

NPR's Neda Ulaby tries to figure out what's behind the new record.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: The U.S. box office enjoyed an almost 6 percent jump after two solid years of decline.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE AVENGERS")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: How about that?

ULABY: "The Avengers" was this year's top grossing movie. The staunch squad of superheroes pulled in over a billion and a half dollars for Disney's Marvel Studios worldwide. Number two and number three were "The Dark Knight Rises" and "The Hunger Games."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE HUNGER GAMES")

ELIZABETH BANKS: (as Effie Trinket) Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

ULABY: The odds were actually against this being a record year at the box office, for a few reasons. First, ticket prices did not go up. Second, think of all of 2012's lousy movies: "Prometheus," "John Carter," "Dark Shadows," "Rock of Ages."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "ROCK OF AGES")

CONSTANTINE MAROULIS: (Singing) I wanna rock.

ULABY: All highly expensive turkeys.

Analysts say the quality of movies kept audiences out of movie theaters this summer, even more than the shooting tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. Revenue dropped and attendance fell to a 19-year low.

Going into fall, the box office needed a hero and it got one.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SKYFALL")

ULABY: "Skyfall," the latest James Bond movie, turned things around. It's made $280 million since its release last month. And it's one of the best performing Bond movies in history.

It's a good moment to be a literary adaptation. "The Hobbit" was last weekend's number one hit and "Les Miserables" is expected to propel even more people into theaters over the holidays.

Neda Ulaby, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SKYFALL")

ADELE: (Singing) Let the sky fall, when it crumbles...

MONTAGNE: And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SKYFALL")

ADELE: (Singing) ...together at the sky fall, when it crumbles. We will stand tall and face it together.

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