Box Office Revs Up 6% Worldwide

Traditionally delivered entertainment continues strong: Not just with TV, but theatrical movies keep growing too.

The Motion Picture Association of America said worldwide box office revenues grew 6% in 2012 to $34.7 billion. Theatrical business in the U.S. and Canada was up 6% to a new annual record of $10.8 billion. For countries not in the U.S/Canada, television also went higher, rising 7% from $23.9 billion from $22.4 billion.

One of the biggest changes: China is now the second-largest market after the U.S. -- pulling in $2.7 billion, a 36% gain versus 2011. China surpasses Japan as the second-largest territory.

Considering all economic problems in Europe in 2012, all European countries fared well --  just slipping 1% in total box office to $10.7 billion in 2012

Theatrical movie business has long counted on frequent young movie customers, especially those who see movies at least once a month. (Frequent moviegoers account for 57% of tickets.) Those customers continue to grow: 18-24 customers were up to 8.7 million from 6.6 million; 25-39 rose to 9.9 million from 9.7 million. Older movie consumers also increased: Frequent moviegoers 40 to 49 amounted to 5.8 million, up from 3.3 million in 2011.

In 2012, the U.S. bucked a general trend over the past several years of a declining number of actual admissions. In 2012, there were 1.36 million admissions versus 1.28 million in 2011.

Movie studios' highly touted 3D films of a few years back continue to shrink -- down to 36 releases in 2012 from 45 in 2011. Revenues for this category were flat at $1.8 million versus 2011.

New digital screens are growing. Now over two-thirds of the world’s nearly 130,000 cinema screens are digital. In the U.S., digital screens now account for 83% of movie screens.


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