Summer B.O. as Big as Last Year

Variety reports that with two weekends left in the summer domestic box office race, it looks like this year will be on par with last year’s record breaking profits of $4.16 billion.

Many see the summer’s strength, led by “The Dark Knight” juggernaut, as a sign that the film biz is benefiting from the lousy economy and high gas prices. Going to the movies is still a cheaper outing than other forms of entertainment, such as sports, theme parks and travel.

Foremost, however, box office observers credit a slate of films that successfully appealed to a cross-section of the moviegoing aud.

Whether this year can best last year, basically comes down to the Labor Day weekend slate and how much of a haul it brings in. Movies premiering that weekend are “House Bunny”, “Death Race”, and “The Longshot”. This weekend, the comedies “The Rocker”, and “Hamlet 2″ open to go against “Tropic Thunder”‘s second weekend.

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