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Bill Radke: Summer movie season rolls on this weekend. Earlier this year,
the summer box office was shaping up to be huge, but Ashley Milne-Tyte reports it's been a little disappointing so far.

Ashley Milne-Tyte: Ticket sales rose 17 percent in the first four months of this year. Could that be recession related?

Jason Squire thinks so. He's a professor at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts:

Jason Squire: My own opinion is that there was a connection between strong box office and a desire to escape.

But summer's the big season for the movie business, and sales are down compared to last year. Still, Squire says those numbers don't tell the whole story:

Squire: And should not be considered a negative until the end of the summer figures are in and the season is complete.

He says a string of potential blockbusters are opening in the next several weeks, including some much-anticipated sequels:

Harry Potter promo: You have no choice, you must not fail.

Squire says the latest Harry Potter and Transformers movies could help push ticket sales back up. And even if a movie disappoints at home, overseas sales could more than make up for it.

In Los Angeles, I'm Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.