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Next 'Paranormal Activity' arrives; a look inside the box office numbers

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The new year is here and a domestic box office record was set last year, so what does January hold? If it is business as usual, it means a slowdown as Hollywood enjoys its awards.

Now through March, when the Oscars are handed out, red carpets will be worn out. In the meantime, movies will be released and when one becomes big now, it is a pleasant surprise for studios. It is also a time to watch those films which are hoping to take home awards. Some of the nominated ones will expand its theater counts while some others will get re-released.

Weekend
1. "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones" - 2,500 theaters

With only one wide release this weekend, that shows that the slowdown is here. "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones" should do well, as a horror film can have one big weekend and the coast the rest of the way. This series has proved that over the year.

Looking ahead shows only one other wide release Jan. 10 in "The Legend of Hercules" then it picks up more on Jan. 17. The films released then include "Ride Along," "The Nut Job," "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" and "Devils's Due."

Meanwhile, diving deeper into the story which was reported here about the record year at the box office, shows the comparison between 2012 and 2013. Despite 2013 actually having negative growth it still had that record year. In 2013, while the numbers were up, Box Office Mojo reports a -0.5 percent change from the previous record year of 2012.

The overall box office figures were $10,903.4 in 2013 to $10,837.4 in 2012. The number of films released in 2013 was 669, compared to 665 in 2012.

Now that is a lot of movies to watch. Looking back to 1980, there were only 161 films released. It was 1982 when that number starting to explode. In 1981, there were 173 films released and then in 1982, that explosion occurred when 428 movies got released. It hasn't gone under 400 since with four years having over 600.

As for ticket prices, in 2013 the average price was $8.03. An interesting item on that front is that they do seem to rise every year, with two exceptions. One of them being a very slight one. But another was notable. That was in 1988 when the average price was $4.11 and then it went down to $3.97 in 1989. That is perhaps the best reason to rely on the adjusted for inflation list of top-grossing films of all-time.

Note: Once again, Tim O'Brien will be live in Hollywood for the 2014 Oscars, marking his 17th year doing so.

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