December 30, 2013 7:13 pm

Iron Man helps propel US box office to record year

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IRON MAN 3

Iron Man 3 was the most successful addition to movie franchises of the year with US revenues of $410m

Iron Man 3 helped power a record year for the North American box office, with cinemas set to surpass last year’s ticket sales on the back of another 12 months of prequels and sequels.

Revenues will total almost $11bn in 2013, according to Rentrak Corp, an increase from last year’s already record-breaking $10.8bn thanks to summer successes and a last flurry of Christmas blockbusters.

Early estimates also show that international revenues are also higher than 2012, driven in part by the booming Chinese box office.

Analysts point to the attraction of a number of blockbuster additions to already established movie franchises, although Iron Man 3 hammered the competition to become the most successful of the year with revenues of about $410m in the year in the US.

Other successful franchise additions included Hunger Games: Catching Fire , Despicable Me 2 , Man of Steel , Fast and Furious 6 and the Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug , which led US sales throughout the Christmas season.

There were also some successful original movies, such as Walt Disney’s Frozen , as well as a few failures during the year, including The Lone Ranger , After Earth and White House Down .

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak, said that social networking platforms became one of the most important factors in the success of films in 2013.

He said: “Of course the line-up of movies still consisted of the usual mix of action, sci-fi, superhero, family films, comedies and indie offerings, but there was something about the 2013 slate that created a something for everybody environment at the multiplex which fuelled revenues.”

Analysts predict another successful year in 2014 with the latest instalments to the Hunger Games, Spider-Man, Transformers and Hobbit franchises.

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