Hollywood Wraps Up Sizzling Summer

Big-name sequels helped movie box office totals hit $4 billion this summer, a sharp turnaround from just two years earlier. But studios aren't celebrating too much. Attendance was not at record levels (stiffer ticket prices drove revenue higher) and the fall will bring labor talks with two powerful writers' unions.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

NPR's business news includes a blockbuster summer for Hollywood.

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INSKEEP: You might just be one of the people who made this one of the best summers in recent history for the movie business. Thanks to big named sequels like "Spiderman" and "Harry Potter," Hollywood hauled in a total of $4 billion. That's a sharp turnaround from a couple of summers ago, when attendance plunged and critics predicted the end of the era of movie going.

Still, Hollywood did not set a movie attendance record this year, just a record for the amount of money. And studios are being careful not to celebrate too much. That's because they're facing labor talks with two powerful writers' unions. Later this month, TV and film producers will start negotiations, and they're hoping it will not end with a writers' strike.

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