Domestic & global BO both rise 6% in '12

By Robert Marich
   March 22, 2013-The Hollywood trade group for the six major movie studios said that theatrical box office revenue rose 6% in 2012 in both the domestic market (USA and Canada) and also on a worldwide basis. Global box office amounted to $34.7 billion last year. Domestic weighs in a $10.8 billion, and is a component of the global total.
   That’s a fine performance given that options for movies after theatrical release are proliferating such as video-on-demand. The 6% growth also indicates consumers want reasonably-priced out-of-home experience like cinema.
   A press release from the Motion Pictures Assn. of America (MPAA) says that “international box office was...driven by growing markets like Russia, Brazil and China, which grew by 36% in 2012 to become the largest international market, surpassing Japan. 2012 also marked the first year that digital screens surpassed analog screens in international market share. Over two-thirds of the world’s nearly 130,000 cinema screens are now digital.”
   “The cinema industry serves an increasingly diverse audience, by age, gender and ethnicity,” John Fithian, president and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), said in a press release.
   In analyzing the data, the MPAA noted that “frequent” moviegoers account for 13% of the population in the domestic market but an outsized 57% of admissions; frequent is defined as going to a movie once per month. So heavy moviegoers are crucial to vitality of cinema.
   Another interesting tidbit is that domestic (USA/Canada) box office revenue marched in lockstep with admissions, meaning tickets sold. Both climbed 6%. In the recent past, revenue ran at a higher rate because of surcharges on 3-D tickets, but 2012 was a weak year for 3-D.
  The final observation is that the number 6 pops up three times in succession—for domestic BO growth, global BO growth and increased in domestic admissions/headcount. Ooops! That is the 'sign of the beast' in the Bible.
  There is a 25-page MPAA report available through a link on the press release below that is loaded with interesting statistics.
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