Box-Office Blowout

What's really driving studios' record-setting year

It's a comeback of cinematic proportions: in the first four months of 2012, big-screen releases took in nearly $3.2 billion at the U.S. box office, a whopping 17% increase over the same period last year (during which attendance hit an 18-year low). "The Vow, Safe House, 21 Jump Street--so many movies have overperformed," says Gitesh Pandya, editor of BoxOfficeGuru.com noting that summer and fall flicks, whose trailers aired before the early-year releases, will also benefit from the sky-high returns. So what's driving the boom? A combination of smart casting, smarter marketing and an idea as old as commerce itself:...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!