Although many analysts had predicted record earnings at the summer box office, things didn't quite end up that way. The season, which began in May and ended with the Labor Day holiday, closed down about 3 percent behind last year at about $4.3 billion. Attendance was down 4 percent to 533 million. Hollywood.com said that figure represented the lowest number of tickets sold in nearly 20 years. The downturn was particularly surprising given the large number of big hits during the summer, including The Dark Knight , which took in $433 million domestically, and The Amazing Spider-Man which hauled away $260 million. And there was the astonishing success of the raunchy comedy Ted , which brought in $216 million.