Record take for Hollywood box office
Smash hits like Spiderman 2, which made Sony Pictures $373 million (£194 million), and the Shrek sequel will help the industry beat its all time record high in 2002 of $9.3 billion.
The rest of the Christmas season will be the deciding factor, with critics saying the industry might not reach its estimate due to the lack of a Christmas hit like last year's Lord of the Ring final.
Box office sales during the Christmas period usually account for about 20 per cent of yearly sales.
However, figures show that while income for the industry is rising, actual ticket sales have fallen. Ticket sales in 2002 were 1.6 billion, compared to the 1.5 billion expected this year.
According to Exhibitor Relations, a box office tracking service, the higher box office take is due to rising ticket prices.
"Many of the films that did well [with audiences] are not necessarily the films that made a lot of money," said president Paul Dergarabedian.
Two of this year's hit movies, The Passion Of The Christ and Fahrenheit 9/11, he added, were made outside of the major studios.
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