We Spent Almost $11 Billion on Movies in 2013, Breaking the All-Time Domestic Box Office Record

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bill-swift - December 31, 2013

Okay, so I lied a little bit in the headline. We haven't officially broken the all-time domestic box office record yet. But unless nobody goes to the movies in the next three days, we're certainly going to. You see, the all-time mark, which was set just last year, is $10.837 billion. Right now, we're sitting at $10.835 billion for 2013, which is just $1.6 million shy of last year's total. That amount should easily be eclipsed in the next two days.

So what's behind the surge? Franchises. Just take a look at the top ten highest-grossing films of 2013:

10. Star Trek: Into Darkness – $228.8 million

9. Oz the Great and Powerful – $234.9 million

8. Fast & Furious 6 – $238.7 million

7. Frozen – $248.4 million

6. Gravity – $254.6 million

5. Monsters University – $268.5 million

4. Man of Steel – $291 million

3. Despicable Me 2 – $376.7 million

2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – $391.1 million

1.  Iron Man 3 – $409 million

If you're keeping score at home, just two of the top ten are "original" stand-alone movies. The other eight, including the top five, were instalments of wildly successful and famous franchises. And over the next two years it's only going to get worse. We've got more Transformers, Superman, Batman, Hobbit, Spider-Man, Avengers, Fast & Furious, and Star Wars movies on the horizon.

Don't like this trend? Then you should probably stop pirating movies. The loss of revenue from DVD rentals and sales has driven studios to maximize box office revenues by focusing on their cash cow franchises.


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