Myriad sequels — including a third dose of Tony Stark — led Hollywood to its biggest box office sales ever. That's despite what appears to be flat ticket sales from last year. Citing new data from Rentrak, Bloomberg says North American movie theaters will beat last year's $10.8 billion in revenue, but just barely. That's due to theaters charging more for admission, alongside premium amenities like IMAX screens, high-end food, and booze. Marvel's Iron Man 3 led the way, raking in $409 million in sales, followed by The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire, which pulled in $393.5 million. Universal's Despicable Me 2 trailed just behind at $367.8 million.
Pricier tickets save the day
The sales record is the second in a row after two years of decline. The entertainment industry has been grappling with how to lure in more moviegoers, who have an ever-widening array of technology in their homes and on the go. Theaters have responded by offering things that are harder to replicate in living rooms like 3D, gourmet food, comfortable seating, and exclusive live performances of concerts and theatre shows. All that led to 1.36 billion tickets sold this year, Rentrak says, which is around how many tickets people bought last year.