With major hits like AOL Time Warner-owned New Line Cinema's "Austin Powers in Goldmember" and "Lord of the Rings: The Twin Towers" and Warner Bros.' "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" on the way, the movie business is in great shape. The industry took in $4.2 billion in U.S. ticket sales in the first half, up 20%, and that trajectory is expected to continue for the rest of the year. Ad support will follow: During this upfront market, some media sellers reported twice as much movie ad volume as last year.
"We're definitely in an era of the business where we are creating major franchise films for audiences. There are a staggering number of sequels this year," said Marc Shmuger, vice chairman of Vivendi Universal's Universal Pictures. "It's an extraordinary season of films and it only seems to be increasing."