Social media, upgraded theaters help drive $11 billion year

Projectionist Reece Thornbery, 38, rewinds a 70mm reel of Quentin Tarantino's latest movie "The Hateful Eight," while working in the projection room at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, Dec. 26.

LOS ANGELES — It takes more than "Star Wars" to make an $11 billion year.

Disney and J.J. Abrams pushed 2015 over the mark days before its conclusion, but many factors helped make the year the biggest of all time — including social media and better theatrical experiences — which helped draw audiences away from their home entertainment centers and into the multiplex.

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