Hollywood eyes another $4 billion summer movie season

Thu May 6, 2010 1:28pm EDT
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Four billion dollars over four months, four years in a row. Those are figures that might make the ego of "Iron Man" Tony Stark swell even bigger.

But the $4 billion is what Hollywood's studios will be aiming to collect at box offices during their lucrative summer film season that kicks off on Friday, starting four straight months of some of the year's biggest movies and biggest stars.

The show begins with "Iron Man 2," about defense industry billionaire Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) who builds an ultra high-tech suit that serves as a weapon. It will be followed by nearly 100 more films including a pair of remakes of 1980s titles "The Karate Kid" and "The A-Team."

Before the season ends in September, Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz will battle evil in "Knight and Day," Russell Crowe rob from the rich to give to the poor in "Robin Hood," the ladies of "Sex and the City 2" will go shopping in Abu Dhabi, and Jake Gyllenhaal will wield a mighty sword in action-packed Jerry Bruckheimer flick "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time."

"When you really sit down and think of how Bruckheimer works, he knows a really successful movie like this has to focus on a really successful story," Gyllenhaal told Reuters, talking about the producer of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies.

Yet in the past it has been action and adventure that have boosted summer ticket sales. Last year's No. 1 summer flick, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," helped push the 2009 season's ticket sales to just under $4.2 billion.

Paul Dergarabedian of Hollywood.com believes this year's box office takings will top that figure, nudged along by nine sequels and seven 3D films, including "Shrek Forever After" and "Toy Story 3."

"With the 3D component, we could have another record-breaking summer in revenue," he said.   Continued...

<p>Robert Downey Jr. in a scene from "Iron Man 2". REUTERS/Paramount Pictures</p>