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Hollywood Sets Summer Box Office Revenue Record

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Labor Day weekend signaled the end of a summer movie season that provided mixed results for Hollywood. 

On one hand, a record was set for summer box office revenue, $4.7 billion, a 10.2 percent rise from last year and about $300 million more than the previous mark set in 2011.  In addition, attendance jumped 6.6 percent.

Then again, ticket prices were up 27 cents on average from the 2012 summer movie season, which at least partly explains the increase in revenue.  And it was only the 12th best summer movie season over the past 20 years in terms of actual number of tickets sold.

The highest-grossing movie this summer was Iron Man 3, which debuted in May and made over $400 million domestically. box office expert Paul Dergarabedian notes that each of the top six summer films was either a sequel or a reboot: Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2, Man of Steel, Monsters University, Fast & Furious Six, and Star Trek Into Darkness.

There were plenty of other big-budget films that were considered box office bombs, such as The Lone Ranger and the Will Smith-Jaden Smith flick After Earth.

Nevertheless, Dergarabedian says the summer movie season helped turned Hollywood's fortunes around.

He comments, "The year started out really slowly, and in fact when we kicked off the summer with Iron Man 3, the year-to-date box office was down almost 11 percent versus last year.  And by the end of the summer, we pulled just ahead of year-to-date box office, so what a difference 18 weeks of the summer make."

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