Not quite. Despite all the worry over write-down-inducing failures like The Lone Ranger and 47 Ronin, 2013 was actually another boom year at the box office. In fact, it’s about to go in the record books as Hollywood’s all-time best: With two days left til the New Year, we’re just a few million shy of 2012’s record-setting $10.837 billion haul.
So how did this happen? Despite its notable flops, summer actually saw an 11 percent increase over 2012 thanks to megahits like Despicable Me 2 ($367.7 million), Man of Steel ($291 million) and Monsters University ($268.5 million) — not to mention the year’s number one movie, Iron Man 3 ($409 million), which ranks as the 13th highest-grossing movie of all time, not accounting for inflation. Then came the fall-winter season with blockbusters like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($391.1 million), Gravity ($254.6 million) and Frozen ($248.4 million). Overall, 2013 has seen 12 movies cross the $200 million mark domestically (2012 only had 11), and 31 movies top $100 million (2012 had the exact same number).
Of course, this isn’t exactly earth-shaking news. The box office has set a new record in six of the last 10 years, partly thanks to economic factors like increased ticket prices, 3-D admissions, and inflation. But the fact that numbers are up at all is a sign of the industry’s bullishness, especially in the face of increased competition from streaming services and TV.