But even milder weather and this broad assortment of films won't be able to turn the box office around. Blame it on "Avatar" which held up remarkably well after launching in December, plus a number of surprise hits, like "Dear John" and "Valentine's Day." So this weekend, even if Bieber and Sandler deliver big audiences, the total box office will likely fall from last year. A year ago this coming weekend Fox's Avatar Grossed $23.6 million, nearly two months after it opened!
But a weak first quarter for Hollywood doesn't mean the box office is doomed. Last year the first quarter delivered huge numbers then the performance trailed off. This year we're likely to see the exact opposite. Analysts say they expect the box office to remain lower until we hit the second quarter. Then we'll see a much stronger slate than last year, and could very well end the year with a bigger box office than 2010, thanks in part to 50 percent more 3-D movies, which command a $2 to $3 premium per ticket.
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