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Box office record

By United Press International   |   Dec. 28, 2009 at 7:56 AM
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HOLLYWOOD, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- With a varied lineup of films fueling a record box office take last weekend, the U.S. domestic movie industry is looking at a record in ticket sales in 2009.

"Avatar" led the way last weekend with $75 million in ticket sales, just ahead of "Sherlock Holmes" while "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" and "It's Complicated" also did well at the box office.

The total weekend take was estimated at $278 million, substantially more than the $253 million of the previous record, set in July 2008 when "The Dark Knight" was released.

For the year, the U.S. movie industry is looking at a record $10.6 billion -- nearly $1 billion more than the previous mark of $9.68 billion take in 2007. Last year movie ticket sales totaled $9.63 billion.

Part of the reason for the record is movie tickets are 28 percent more expensive than in 2008, costing an average of about $7.50. Still, with "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," "The Twilight saga: New Moon" and "Avatar" packing houses, analysts said 2009 would see sales total 1.4 billion tickets. The record year for tickets sales is 2002, when 1.6 billion were sold.