Story by: Jack Foley
THE US Box Office has enjoyed a record Summer this year, despite
several of the biggest movies receiving critical pannings from
Movies such as Finding Nemo
and The Matrix Reloaded
helped to make a mockery of early fears of a slump in takings,
with the total gross expected to be in the region of $3.9bn (£2.5bn)
- up 2% from last year's record figure.
The figures have been compiled by box office monitor, Exhibitor
Relations, but have largely been attributed to a rise in prices
rather than the number of tickets actually sold, which looks to
be in decline for the first time in three years.
Of the success stories, Pixar's latest animated outing, Finding
Nemo, looks set to become the year's most successful film, having
taken $330m (£209m) in the US alone (it is released in the
UK in October).
The Matrix Reloaded, everyone's early prediction for highest
grosser, came in second, at $279m (£177m), while Pirates
of the Caribbean, the surprise smash of the Summer, has taken
more than $270m (£171m) - and could still rise to second
Bruce Almighty and X2:
X-Men United also crossed the $200m (£127m) mark.
In addition, 12 films topped $100m (£63m), with four others
poised to do so - breaking another record set last year, when
13 films made $100m.
Among the other sizeable hits were Terminator
3: Rise of the Machines, Bad
Boys II, Hulk and Swat,
along with sleeper success The
Italian Job and Tobey Maguire's Depression-era racehorse drama,
However, not everything realised its potential, with bigger budget
blockbusters such as T3, 2 Fast
2 Furious and Charlie's
Angels: Full Throttle falling short of analysts predictions.
Of this year's misfires, the sequels to Legally
Blonde and Lara Croft: Tomb
Raider also underachieved.