Understandably, 2009 will go down as a crap year. Unemployment, sub-prime loans, yada yada yada. But Hollywood is ballin' like it's 1999. Annual North American movie-ticket sales are expected to pass the $10 billion mark for the first time, according to reports that quoted research by Hollywood.com. In fact, the film industry is looking at a $10.4 billion year.

“We're looking at some huge numbers for the next 10 days or so that will put us well over that $10 billion mark” Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com Box Office, told Reuters news service.

Ticket sales outside North America for 2009? Another $15 billion. Major studios dominated the global market as well as domestic audiences. Blockbusters such as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and The Twilight Saga: New Moon helped — a lot. And the Christmas holiday will also see the opening of potential box-office winners Sherlock Holmes and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.

LA Weekly