Hollywood has its best year ever in 2009 (but piracy is killing the business?)

I could have sworn “piracy” was killing the movie industry. Apparently not, when you actually look at the data! The year 2009 was the single best year in Hollywood history as far as “money” is concerned—if you can find a single decent movie produced by Hollywood last year I’d love to see it—where it made $29.9 billion in ticket sales alone. (Never mind how much Blu-ray and DVD sales will bring in.) So again: if piracy is killing the industry, how do you explain these numbers?

Well, we’ll try to explain them. Last year was the year of AvatarAvatar is 3D, to be exact. A ticket to a 3D showing cost quite a premium, something like $14-$15 (or more!) depending on your location instead of the usual $10ish.

That’s pretty much the only explanation.

Avatar was to Hollywood what the Wii was to Nintendo for a while there—simply a money-printing machine.

Perhaps it speaks to an earlier thesis: you cannot “pirate” the 3D “experience,” so Hollywood should be flying high for a little while.