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Box Office Passes $10B for First Time Ever

Domestic market hits the magic mark with 11 days still on the calendar, Hollywood.com reports

It’s now official: The domestic box office has crossed the $10 billion mark for the first time in motion-picture history.

Research company Hollywood.com called the record Tuesday, noting that year-to-date North American theatrical revenue has hit $10,008,000,000 with 11 days left on the calendar.

In all, six films broke the $200 million mark domestically, including "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" ($402.1 million), "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" ($302 million), "Up" ($293 million), "The Hangover" ($277.3 million), "Twilight Saga: New Moon" ($275.5 million) and "Star Trek" ($257.7 million).

The $10 billion benchmark was also achieved with far fewer movies than were released in 2008 — 509 vs. 605 last year, according to Boxoffice Mojo.

By the time Jan. 1 rolles around, this year’s total revenue is set to climb much higher. In fact, Hollywood.com is projecting that the year-end total will reach about $10.5 billion. The Christmas holiday weekend will surely have an impact. Last year’s holiday slate generated $370 million, driven by Fox’s “Marley and Me,” Disney’s “Bedtime Stories,” Paramount’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” MGM’s “Valkyrie” and Warner’s “Yes Man.”

Studio distribution officials say this weekend’s take should be even higher, with “Avatar,” “Sherlock Holmes” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” all competing in the marketplace.