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December 26, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Following this weekend’s results, it became apparent that the 2011 domestic box office would total about $10.1 billion, down 4.5 percent from 2010, with attendance down 5.3 percent. That’s on top of the 6-percent decline last year. The downturn comes despite an increase in the number of theaters equipped to show 3D films and the number of films distributed in the format. According to, 40 3D movies were released in 2011 versus 24 a year ago. With 3D films commanding surcharges of $3 to $5 or 24 to 40 percent of the standard ticket price of $7.89, one might have expected that the additional charge would have far offset the 5.3 percent downturn in attendance. But many moviegoers, it would seem, shunned the 3D format and sought out regular 2D screenings, even when those screenings occurred at inconvenient times in a limited number of theaters. Oddly, the overseas box office appears headed for a record year — at least in several markets. The British box office is expected to cross the £1 billion ($1.56 billion) mark this year, coming in ahead of last year’s £988 million ($1.54 billion) with a slight increase also in attendance. Indeed, attendance in the U.K. may come in ahead of 2002’s record of 175 million. Rob Arthur, managing director at independent chain Apollo Cinemas, told the London Independent that 3D movies accounted for a third of theater revenue.