’09 North American Ticket Sales Cross $10 Billion

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U.S. and Canadian movie ticket sales for 2009 were expected to cross the annual $10 billion mark on Tuesday night for the first time, reports Reuters.

Ticket sales had already topped 2008′s $9.63 billion as moviegoers flocked to films like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the year’s top seller in North America so far with $402 million, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ($302 million).

Through Sunday, the total U.S. and Canadian box office stood just $36 million short of crossing the $10 billion mark.

With Monday generating $29 million in ticket sales, led by strong results for Avatar, the industry was expected to cross $10 billion on Tuesday.

With still big box office numbers expected over the next 9 days, the final tally could hit $10.4 billion.

Through Sunday, Warner Bros. Pictures was the top studio at U.S. and Canadian box offices with 19.6 percent market share and more than $1.9 billion in ticket sales.

Outside the United States and Canada, ticket sales have reached $15 billion, up about 5 percent from 2008.

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