Another record year for the movies

posted by Michael Zoldessy on January 9, 2009 at 7:40 am

Not quite as many tickets were sold in ‘08 but a strong finish helped the final tally be the highest ever.

It was a photo finish, but North American movie-ticket sales hit the wire in a furious gallop to post an annual gain of almost 2%, with a record haul of $9.78 billion in estimated grosses.

Avid holiday moviegoing helped the industry rewrite the history books in the home stretch, though substantial ticket-price boosts helped pad the tally. Industry estimates put average U.S. ticket prices at about $7.20, or almost 4.7% higher than in 2007.

Read the full story at Yahoo Movies.

Comments (5)

MPol on January 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm

I wonder if our tanked economy has something to do with it. Here’s why: When I went to see the film
“A Thousand Clowns” at the Coolidge Corner Theatre last Monday evening, which played at the Coolidge as part of their extended year-long 75th Anniversary celebration, the emcee announced that in the 1930’s, during the Great Depression (The Coolidge first opened in December 1933), people were flocking to movie palaces as a way of entertainment, and as a way of temporarily taking their minds off of the vissicititudes of life back then.

Given our presently tanked economy, I wonder if there’s a little bit of a deja-vu there, if one gets the drift. My hunch is that it’s possible.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on January 11, 2009 at 9:54 am

There is some of that ..But there has been a trend the last 3 years of people going back to the movies.Like every bsns we are on a cycle.

danpetitpas on January 12, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Well, keep in mind that total attendance was still down about 3%. Less people go to the movies every year. The only reason there was a 2% increase in grosses was that ticket prices were jacked up almost 5%. If Warner hadn’t released Dark Knight, it would have really been a loss for the year.

As for the past, in 1948, there were 4.6 billion paid admissions (the first year it was counted) and in 2008 there were 1.36 paid admissions, despite the fact there are about 50% more people in this country.

And when those 50" and 60" TVs and Blu-Ray players come down in price, you might see a real decline in audiences.

MPol on January 12, 2009 at 5:33 pm


“And when those 50” and 60" TVs and Blu-Ray players come down in price, you might see a real decline in audiences."

might very well be true, but, again, as has been pointed out, there’ll always be people who prefer going to the movie theatre and seeing movies as they’re meant to be viewed; on the great, big wide screen, with the lights down low, sharing the experience with tons of other people whether one knows them or not, and even talking with them before and/or after the screening, about a particular movie that happens to be playing at that particular time.

The advent of DVD/blu-ray and big home-theatre systems have served to isolate people from each other, which isn’t good.

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