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The summer box office season traditionally runs from the first weekend of May through the first weekend of September (Labor Day). I usually cut it off the weekend that the cheap horror sequels start rolling out (which this year was last weekend when Halloween 2 and Final Destination 4 dumped into theaters), but looking at the official time frame 2009 is proving to be the biggest cash maker in US history.

According to Variety the highest summer on record was 2007 when Americans dropped $4.16 BILLION dollars at the movies. This year’s totals are sitting at $4.17 billion and next weekend has yet to be rolled in. An estimated $100 million added next weekend will put it well over the top.

“But we’re still in an economic slump” you say! “How can we possibly be spending even more at the movies?" Well, when you consider that average ticket prices are more than $0.30 higher than they were in 2007, the number of ticket sales were down this summer. By the numbers, approximately 10 million fewer tickets were sold this summer than last year. Fewer people are paying more to keep Hollywood afloat. Maybe Cash for Clunkers didn’t save Americans as much money as we thought.

For Cinema Blend’s full summer box office break down, check out our complete wrap-up coming this week. For now you can check out the top 10 of the summer, with figures from Box Office Mojo, below.

1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen $399,416,040
2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince $294,258,075
3. Up $289,639,811
4. The Hangover $270,237,752
5. Star Trek $256,673,273
6. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs $193,250,211
7. X-Men Origins: Wolverine $179,863,544
8. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian $176,461,908
9. The Proposal $160,154,402
10. Angels & Demons $133,375,846
11. (soon to be #10) G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra $132,151,854

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