By Lisa Respers France
Hollywood is about to fade to black on a year full of green.
According to the Los Angeles Times, 2013 is proving to be a lucrative year at the box office. Ticket sales reportedly are projected to reach $10.9 billion, which will just barely squeak by the 2012 record of $10.8 billion.
But a record is a record and despite some high-profile flops like "The Lone Ranger" starring Johnny Depp, Oscar contenders such "12 Years a Slave" and "Gravity" also proved to be popular with audiences, and they helped to pull receipts over last year's record-breaking amount.
Patrick Corcoran, a spokesman for the National Association of Theatre Owners, lauded the news.
"We rise and fall based on the strength of the movies in the marketplace," Corcoran said. "After setting a record, it's nice to be able to set another one, even by a little bit."
Data from Box Office Mojo.com shows that sequels and blockbusters proved to be the biggest draw. The top grossing movie, "Iron Man 3," pulled in just over $409 million, while "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" has earned $391 million so far. Rounding out the top 10 were "Despicable Me 2," "Man of Steel," "Monsters University," "Gravity," "Frozen," "Fast & Furious 6," "Oz The Great and Powerful," and "Star Trek Into Darkness."
Analysts say that while the financial picture was looking less than rosy earlier in the year, the pace picked up. During the Christmas period, eagerly awaited films like "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug" and "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" helped Hollywood finish off strong.
"Just having lots of movies to choose from helped drive success for our industry," said Ken Thewes, chief marketing officer and senior vice president at Regal Entertainment Group, told the Times.
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