1/3/13 Update: We now have $10.809 billion totaled for 2012. That's a 6.1% increase over 2011's total of $10.185 billion. Attendance is up 6% year/year.
1/2/13 Update: Official numbers for the final days of 2012 will trickle in today, but the total is already $10.765 billion. That's a 5.7% increase over 2011. Attendance is up 5.6% over 2011. 2012's total also easily tops the previous record of $10.605 billion set in 2009. Check back this week for more updates.
12/26/12 Update: 2012, like any other year, has been full of ups and downs at the box office. Luckily, the ups have been really strong and the downs have been manageable. We are currently projecting that 2012's haul will hit $10.8 billion. That would put it 6% ahead of 2011 in dollars and 5.9% ahead in attendance. Furthermore, it would also establish a new all-time record for the largest yearly domestic box office on record. The previous high-mark was the $10.6 billion grossed during 2009.
The Hunger Games boosted the first quarter by opening to a staggering $152.5 million en route to $408 million domestically. Q1 was also helped by two notable March successes: Dr. Seuss' The Lorax ($214 million domestic cume) and 21 Jump Street ($138.4 million).
Summer 2012 kicked off in grand style with Marvel's The Avengers, the industry's first film to open to $200 million. The Avengers dominated the month of May, but once it started to slow down other films had no problem keeping the summer going. June brought with it Brave ($237.2 million domestically), Ted ($218.7 million), Snow White and the Huntsman ($155.1 million), Prometheus ($126.5 million) and Magic Mike ($113.7 million). July belonged to The Amazing Spider-Man ($262 million), Ice Age: Continental Drift ($161.1 million) and, of course, The Dark Knight Rises ($448.1 million).
2012's fall/holiday season has shattered expectations in a major way. September brought surprises such as Hotel Transylvania ($143.9 million) and Looper ($66.4 million). Taken 2 made the most noise in October thanks to a solid $138.5 million haul. November surged thanks in large part to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 ($282 million) and Skyfall ($275.1 million). As for December, The Hobbit has already grossed $168.3 million and Les Miserables and Django Unchained are strong right out of the gate.