Domestic box-office revenues for 2010 won't quite hit last year's record-setting haul, but they'll be awfully close.
Total movie-ticket sales will reach $10.556 billion, the tracking agency Hollywood.com saidthis week. That's a slight decrease from the $10.6 billion total from 2009, but it's also only the second time that the annual box office has crossed the $10 billion mark.
At the same time, total attendance was down 5.36 percent from last year. That's the biggest percentage drop year over year since 2005. This will also be the second-lowest attended year of the decade.
It looked as if 2010 might set a record at the beginning of the year, when 2009's "Avatar" was still going strong well into February and March, said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian. James Cameron's 3-D sci-fi epic boasts the biggest box-office take in history, collecting $2.7 billion worldwide, nearly $750 million of which came domestically.
"Toy Story 3" was the highest-grossing film released in 2010, earning nearly $415 million. It's one of many movies that were offered in 3-D or IMAX 3-D, which come with higher average ticket prices — which is partly what helped boost the annual total as far as it got, even as attendance sagged.
"Without that, we'd be looking at revenues that may not even have surpassed $10 billion," Dergarabedian said.
But he has hope for another record in 2011, when sequels to the hit comedy "The Hangover" and the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise are due, along with the highly-anticipated comic book-inspired "Thor" and "Captain America: The First Avenger."
"My biggest lesson learned from this year," Dergarabedian said, "is it's always about the product."
Reese Witherspoon is engaged to Hollywood agent Jim Toth.
A representative for the actress confirmed that the couple will wed and says they're "extremely happy." The engagement was first reported by Us Weekly.
The 34-year-old actress was previously married to actor Ryan Phillippe. She has two children with him. They divorced in 2008.
Witherspoon won an Oscar for her performance in "Walk the Line." She stars in the recently released comedy "How Do You Know."
Leguizamo to return to Broadway
John Leguizamo is readying the latest installment of his life for a Broadway run.
The 46-year-old comedian-actor will bring a new one-man autobiographical show, "Ghetto Klown," to the Lyceum Theater beginning Feb. 21. The show officially opens March 22 and runs 12 weeks.
"Ghetto Klown" will delve into the early days of Leguizamo's acting career and his roles in Hollywood. It will follow in the tradition of his shows "Spic-O-Rama," "Freak" and "Sexaholix."
Another year older
Today's birthdays: Actor Sir Anthony Hopkins , 73... actor Sir Ben Kingsley , 67... fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg , 64... singer Donna Summer , 62... actress Bebe Neuwirth , 52... actor Val Kilmer , 51... rock musician Bob Bryar (My Chemical Romance), 31.