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Hollywood box office: A bust or boom?

The secret of Hollywood box office success 02:29

Is the box office healthy or hurting? Turns out a little bit of both, actually -- depending on the weekend and slate of films.

With blockbusters like "Jurassic World" breaking records, this year is certainly a big one for milestones. The Chris Pratt-starring film had the biggest opening in U.S. box office history, raking in more than $208 million in its first weekend in theaters.

But that doesn't mean there haven't been some major flops to go along with the highs. Just last weekend, Sandra Bullock's political satire "Our Brand Is Crisis" and Bradley Cooper's chef drama "Burnt" failed to lure in moviegoers, resulting in bleak box office numbers.

That downward streak will likely change, though (and very soon), with some major films hitting theaters, including this weekend's premiere of the new James Bond film "Spectre," the final "Hunger Games" installment and the "Star Wars" sequel in December. Overall, insiders say the box office is quite healthy these days.

"Considering how strong the slate was, how strong the slate is going forward -- and how important the international box office has been and continues to be, the movie sector is incredibly robust," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak, an entertainment research company.

Still, it wasn't too long ago that Steven Spielberg predicted the "implosion" of the film industry.

Moviegoers in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

"That's the big danger, and there's eventually going to be an implosion -- or a big meltdown. There's going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen megabudget movies are going to go crashing into the ground, and that's going to change the paradigm," the celebrated movie director said in 2013.

So far that hasn't happened ... yet. "The blockbuster is alive and well," Degarabedian said.

And that's despite the plethora of entertainment available at home. From streaming to on-demand, there are plenty of options outside the standard movie theater.

"Your choices are plentiful beyond belief and beyond any other time in our history, but you still need to get outside of the home ... People need to leave their homes, take their kids out, go on a date, go by yourself to the movies and enjoy that fully immersive in-theater experience," Degarabedian said.

Meanwhile, the cinema experience continues to grow -- from luxury seating to first-class food and alcohol delivered directly to your seat.

Must-see fall 2015 movies
Must-see fall 2015 movies

Cristina Cacioppo, creative manager at the Alamo Drafthouse, says moviegoers are enjoying the all-around experience.

"I see more more and more theaters doing something similar to Alamo with having food and beverage. Others are doing things where they so-call 'eventize' everything where you go to theater for a one-night only experience or a live-stream Q&A," she said.

Perks like reclining seats, gourmet food and special events often bring higher ticket prices. The average national coast of admission hit a record high this year. According to the National Association of Theatre Owners, a movie ticket cost an average of $8.61 during the second quarter of 2015. That's up 6 percent from the first quarter of the year. And of course, in places such as New York City that number is much higher, costing up to $20 for 3D films and luxury seats, for instance.

Movie lovers, though, are still willing to pay up for a good film. Alamo Drafthouse, which has theaters in 20 cities across the country, shows movies from major studios, alongside indie selections. But it's still those franchises, and sometimes remakes, that seem to attract the biggest crowds.

Alamo Drafthouse - Yonkers, New York Faye Murman

"I think as audiences we like that which is familiar, and you can argue that the studios keep spoon-feeding us sequels and franchises, so it's their fault that there's no originality. But a lot of times the movies that try to push the envelope and are of that blockbuster budget but are trying to be original - there are many films that are like that have failed. It tells you that audiences are reticent to try new things," Degarabedian said.

For more on the box office and film industry, check out the video above.

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