summer 2009 breaks record

How is this possible? I thought this year’s summer movie season was mediocre at best, and now Variety is telling me that it set a record? According to the trade, this summer brought in the highest domestic box office revenue ever. This year’s performance out did the former record holding summer of 2007. Again I ask, how?

The numbers have been calculated for this year’s summer session, which brought in a total of 4.17 billion dollars in ticket sales. That’s literally one up from the previous champ of 2007, which tallied in with 4.16 billion. The films that helped elevate the summer of 2009 include Paramount’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($399.4 million), Warner Bros. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ($294.3 million) and Disney/Pixar’s Up ($289.6 million).

The top three got some help from the surprise hit of the season, The Hangover, which raked in “$270.2 million in domestic ticket sales, by far the best gross for an R-rated comedy.” Speaking of surprises, the Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds film The Proposal went on to earn over $160 million dollars to become the highest-grossing summer romantic comedy of all time. Who saw that coming? Star Trek pulled in a solid $256.7 million, while X-Men Origins: Wolverine pulled in $179 million (which I think is pretty low).

Am I alone in my reaction to this news? I really thought this year sucked, and I’m completely surprised that it pulled in that amount of money. For some odd reason I thought 2008 was the summer to beat because of the success of The Dark Knight, Indiana Jones, and Iron Man. Now that I look over the 2007 roster, I’m in even more disbelief than I was before.

Two years ago we had:

  • Spiderman 3
  • Shrek the Third
  • Transformers (the good one)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean at World’s End
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • The Bourne Ultimatum
  • Ratatouille
  • The Simpson’s Movie
  • Knocked Up

How the hell did 2009 beat that line up?

Are you surprised by this year’s box office numbers?