Thanks to an 11th-hour boost from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the annual North American box office crossed the $11 billion mark for the first time ever Tuesday, making 2015 the highest-earning domestic year in movie history.
According to the film tracking firm Rentrak, the final tally for the calendar year will be about $1.1 billion, outpacing 2013’s previous record of about $10.92 billion. This year’s total represents a 7.2 percent increase over last year’s, which was about $10.36 billion.
“Hollywood built the perfect box office beast in 2015, with one hit movie after the next, week after week, exceeding expectations with a regularity that made it look easy,” Rentrak senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said in a statement. “With records falling like dominoes, the revenues just kept building as audiences flooded multiplexes in huge numbers.”
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Many new North American box office records were set this year, including the biggest January weekend gross (American Sniper), the biggest April opening weekend (Furious 7), the biggest June opening weekend (Jurassic World), and the biggest all-time opening weekend (Star Wars: The Force Awakens).