Summer movie box-office comes up up with confusing tally

Movie box-office numbers are a confusing bunch. Pundits pore over it to assess the health of the movie industry while moviegoers have become accustomed to measuring movie success by grosses.

How you view Hollywood's summer movies depends largely on how you measure success.

If you're a dollars-and-cents fan, summer 2010 marked a new record for revenues, with $4.35 billion in ticket sales in the USA and Canada, according to Hollywood.com.

But if you measure the health of the industry by how many people actually go see movies, things aren't so rosy. Attendance this summer was 552 million, the lowest total since 1997.

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