Hollywood is thanking its lucky stars for 3D this week as the estimated figures for the 2010 summer box office are being tallied. According to USA Today, the number of actual tickets sold is the lowest since 2005. You know, the year of the "big slump." Actually this year's number (552 million) will be less than that of five years ago (563.2 million). Fortunately, thanks to the surcharges added to 3D movie tickets, despite this dismal moviegoer turnout the box office grosses are actually up this summer. Through labor day the box office should reach about $4.35 billion, which is $100 million more than the record set last year!

So, we can likely expect that Hollywood will learn nothing from this except that it should keep making -- or at least releasing -- movies in the 3D format. Never mind that this summer was one of the worst in a long time (some blame the World Cup). And just ignore that half of this report that says attendance is terrible. In a business sense, the season was very successful. Sorry James Cameron, but it looks like we'll be getting even more low-quality 3D movies to cheapen the medium's already poor reputation. Especially if execs pay more attention to the part of the analysis that says 3D surges were a heavy factor, as opposed to those high-grossing movies that didn't have a 3D release (Inception, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Iron Man 2) -- though IMAX surges may have helped these in a similar fashion.