I saw “Sideways” on Tuesday (Loved it!!!) and I saw “Million Dollar Baby” yesterday (Loved it!!), I love going to the movies!!!

Hollywood ’04 Box Office Take Poised to Hit Record
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Hollywood’s studios are expected to rake in a possibly record $9.4 billion at domestic box offices this year, but the lack of a Christmas season smash like last year’s final “Lord of the Rings” film will crimp overall ticket sales.
The estimated box office figure for the United States and Canada should beat 2003’s $9.27 billion by about 1.4 percent, and may squeak by 2002’s record $9.3 billion, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc., a box office tracking service.
But admissions, or the number of tickets actually sold, are seen falling to roughly 1.5 billion from 1.53 billion last year and 1.6 billion in 2002.
The higher box office take is being fueled by a rise in average ticket prices, which Exhibitor Relations President Paul Dergarabedian said may wind up between $6.10 and $6.25 per ticket in 2004, up from $6.03 in 2003 and $5.80 in 2002.
“Many of the films that did well (with audiences) are not necessarily the films that made a lot of money,” said Dergarabedian, noting art-house fare like “Napoleon Dynamite” and the current critical hit “Sideways.”
He added that two big hits, “The Passion of the Christ” and “Fahrenheit 9/11,” were released outside the major studios, where the $100 million-plus blockbusters normally come from.
The holidays, in which 20 percent of total annual ticket sales are made, has many crowd pleasers but lacks a mega-movie like 2003’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” which went on to win an Oscar for best picture.
Sony Pictures Entertainment, a unit of Japanese electronics maker Sony Corp., is on the way to ending the year at No. 1 in domestic market share with more than $1.3 billion at box offices. Next is Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. with $1.25 billion, according to studio estimates.
It is the second time in three years Sony has been No. 1 and the third straight year of a $1 billion-plus box office. It is Warner’s fourth straight year of $1 billion-plus in sales.
Sony had a combination of big-budget hits like “Spider-Man 2” and low-budget stars such as horror flick “The Grudge,” which cost Sony $10 million and racked up $11O million.
“We had a really diverse slate this year, and…certainly we pulled off one of the surprises with ‘Grudge,”‘ said Jeff Blake, Sony Pictures Entertainment vice chairman.
Funding movies at the high and low ends of the cost range — avoiding the middle — marks a trend of recent years that studio executives expect will continue in 2005.
“Spider-Man 2” was the No. 2 U.S. film of 2004 with $373 million in domestic ticket sales, behind $436 million for DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek 2.”
Rounding out the top five were “Passion” with $370 million, Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” with $249 million and Disney/Pixar’s “The Incredibles” at $236 million and climbing.
After a tough start with “The Alamo,” Disney will likely end at No. 3 in market share with $1.1 billion, crossing the $1 billion threshold for the ninth time in 11 years.
The year also was marked by production budgets for major films in the $150 million to $200 million range, and studio executives expect high costs to continue into 2005.
Other events to look for in 2005 will be a new studio chief at Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures, a new film distribution partner for one-time Disney ally Pixar Animation Studios Inc., and the way in which a Sony-led investor group plans to run Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. .
Hollywood’s other major studios include Universal Pictures, owned by General Electric Co. and France’s Vivendi Universal, as well as Twentieth Century Fox, controlled by News Corp. Inc. . A major independent is Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.