Goin' to the Movies

Informin' You About Movies

2009: A Year To Remember

For decades to come, 2009 will signify a year of tremendous success in the box-office. With an estimated $273 million dollars, this past holiday weekend will become the largest in domestic box office history, surpassing the famed July 2008 weekend ($260.5 million) that saw “The Dark Knight” open to packed IMAX screenings— often for over 48 hours straight.

Bolstered largely by three films grossing over $50 million each, including the steam-rolling “Avatar”, the holiday weekend drew in audiences in a withering economy. Movies have often seen a spike in attendance during a poor economy as people flock to theaters to escape for a small price of admission.

To see how far attendance rose and what other records 2009 shattered, hit the jump.A string of enormous blockbuster films, and even a few unexpected sleepers, helped elevate 2009 to record heights as it broke the unheard of $10 billion dollar mark in domestic ticket sales.

The 2009 films have not just done it in box office gross, a figured often misconstrued as a marker of how many people actually saw a film. Instead, attendance in 2009 is up running over 7.6% compared to 2008, and impressive number to behold.

Back to the impressive weekend for a second, “Sherlock Holmes” unwrapped a bountiful gift on Christmas day on its way to earning the largest Christmas day, opening or otherwise, in history— an impressive $24.8 million, hurdling previous top Christmas day grosser “Meet the Fockers” ($19.5 million) and previous top Christmas day opener “Marley and Me” ($14.4 million).

Additionally, “Sherlock” ($65.4 million) surpassed “Meet the Fockers” ($46.1 million) for largest Christmas opening weekend as well. All told, Christmas day saw “Sherlock”, “Avatar”, and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” claim three of the top four Christmas day grosses.

2009 proved to be a showcase for small-budget films reaching extraordinary heights, with “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” and “The Hangover” both grossing well over $250 domestic and cracking the top 5 domestic grosses for the year despite production budgets of $50 million dollars or less.

Adding to the small budget, big box office mix in the top 25 domestic hauls were “The Blind Side” ($29 million budget), “The Proposal” ($40 million budget), “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” ($26 million budget), “Taken” ($25 million budget) and “District 9” ($30 million budget). Each film accounted for over $100 million in domestic gross.

However, the biggest surprise of the year came from the micro-budgeted “Paranormal Activity”, with an astonishing $15,000 production budget that went on to place 27th overall and gross over $100 million domestic.

While 2009 has been a hit, I truly wonder what 2010 has in store for us. Here is to one of the best years in film, despite a dearth of Oscar-level dramas.

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December 28, 2009 - Posted by | Makin' Bank | , ,

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