I have a great weakness for numbers. So I direct you to this brief, but fascinating, look at last year’s online world by the numbers. Internet users sent 107 trillion e-mails. An estimated 25 billion Twitter messages were sent. People sent 360 billion pieces of content across Facebook. Seriously, go read it, and be amazed our civilization ever gets anything done.
Here are two lists of the best movie posters from last year: one from Mubi, focused more on art house flicks, and another from First Showing, with more mainstream films. I’ve singled out my personal favorite, from the minimalist series of “Black Swan” posters, but both lists contain some nice imagery.
By the close of 2010, domestic movie ticket sales had reached $10.561 billion dollars for the year. This is a decline of 0.3 percent from the year before, when movies earned $10.595 billion, and ticket sales dipped about six percent from the year before. The declines were offset by ever-increased ticket prices, of course.
There were 524 movies released last year, three more than 2009 but fewer than any other year since 2003. The average ticket price was $7.95 dollars, and it’s seemingly inevitable that 2011 will produce the first year with average ticket prices north of $8. In 1980, the average ticket cost $2.69; in 1990, it was up to $4.23; by 2000, it had reached $5.39. (When the average ticket price first topped $4 in 1988, it took 11 years before it topped $5; after that, it took just four years to top $6 and another five years to top $7. If, as expected, the average ticket price is $8 this year, it will have needed just three years since tickets topped $7.) Warner Bros. was the highest-earning studio, pulling down 18.3 percent of the market share ($1.891 billion) thanks to “Inception,” “Harry Potter” and “Clash of the Titans.”
The top movie was “Toy Story 3,” earning $415 million in North America. After that were “Alice in Wonderland” ($334 million), boosted by 3-D before it was played out; underwhelming sequel “Iron Man 2″ ($312 million); the bloated and desiccated remains of our once-thriving society known as “Twilight: Eclipse” ($300 million); and “Inception” ($292 million), which absurdly combined an original idea with excellent actors and exciting storytelling, rather than just remaking an old movie or something.
As of today, 22 movies have earned $100 million, though a few more are probably going to do it (“True Grit,” likely “Due Date,” and if the Oscar season goes well, maybe “The Fighter”). Last year, 32 movies reached that mark. If we assume “True Grit” tops $100 million and “The Fighter” doesn’t, the top 25 movies will include eight sequels (including “TRON: Legacy” here) and five remakes. Once “True Grit,” “TRON: Legacy” and “Little Fockers” top $140 million, the top 15 movies will feature seven of those sequels and four of the remakes.
Whether or not 2010 was a success depends, as such things do, on your point of view. Enough movies made enough money that things remained pretty constant from the year before despite a parade of under-performers. Goosing ticket prices with 3-D surcharges obviously helped. But studios should be worried about a run of films that made seemingly decent money, but not enough to warrant hit and guaranteed sequel status (“TRON: Legacy,” “Salt,” “Robin Hood,” “Little Fockers,” “The Last Airbender,” “Sex and the City 2″). There were also your big, expensive misfires (“Prince of Persia,” “How Do You Know,” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” “The A-Team,” “Killers,” the third “Narnia” movie), but you get those every year. Particularly of note: Five of the 10 biggest movies this year marked either the likely end of their franchise (“Toy Story 3,” “Shrek 4″) or were films where you could see the end of the line approaching (“Twilight,” “Harry Potter,” even “Iron Man 2,” because Robert Downey Jr.’s not going to stick around that character forever).
Here’s a roundup of all of the Best of 2010 lists you could hope to read.
And THIS movie montage is a compilation of clips from trailers, as opposed to all the other movie montages, where they mixed clips from trailers in with other clips. I would stop posting these if they weren’t so very addictive. Also, I love movie trailers. [via]
You know the drill. Here’s another montage of movie clips from 2010. Enjoy.
Here’s a 25-question quiz on news from 2010. I am appalled by my score of 20 out of 25, but I feel compelled to report it in the interest of full disclosure to you, dear reader. In my defense, I didn’t even know there was a LeBron James this year.
The only top 10 list I really care about is in: Roger Ebert has listed his 10 best films of 2010, and they line up (for the most part) with the early view of the Best Picture race. “The Social Network” on top, followed by sturdy challenger “The King’s Speech” and dark horse “Black Swan.” (Okay, yes, you can replace “Black Swan” with “The Fighter” now, I think the buzz is cacophonous enough.) Here’s the whole thing.
Here’s another video montage running through 2010′s films. This one, by Matt Shapiro, is set to “A Dustland Fairytale” by the Killers. It is awesome. Enjoy.