Worldwide box office revenues rose 4% in 2013, hitting a new record of $35.9 billion, Motion Picture Association of America chairman Chris Dodd said at the annual state of the industry address at the CinemaCon trade show. North American sales stayed steady at $10.9 billion while international sales rose from 5% to $25 billion.
The growth of the Chinese market is what is responsible for this growth. China, which is now the biggest market next to North America, accounted for $3.6 billion of last year’s gross, 25% higher than the previous year. The Chinese market is currently on the rise, with an average of 13 movie screens being built every day. They are now the first market in history besides North America to cross the $3 billion mark in box office revenue. Other large markets include France, India, Japan and the U.K.
Hollywood is already trying to engage the international audience more, through tactics like additional scenes in “Iron Man 3,” however John Fithian, president of the National Theater Owners Association, pointed out they could do more.
“Last year I talked about the need to distribute movies in all twelve months. And in some respects, that has begun to happen. Warner Bros., for example, gave us the award winning spectacle Gravity in October, and Sony gave us another successful family title in September…’
‘Yet we could still use a bit more calendar diversity. We had virtually nothing for families in the first quarter of 2013, which resulted in a 12 percent drop in that period. And then we had too many family movies packed into summer time, with some cannibalization. Fortunately, that has changed in 2014 as four family movies this first quarter have helped drive 7 percent growth year over year…”
There was also a report that included a breakdown of the demographics of frequent moviegoers, showing that attendance of children under the age of 11 and adults between the ages of 50-59 were at their highest in several years. 12-39 year olds decreased their frequent movie-going by 16 percent but they still make up 58 percent of frequent moviegoers. Caucasians, despite being 63 percent of the population, are only 49 percent of moviegoers and Hispanics, 17 percent of the population, account for 32 percent of moviegoers.
It remains to be seen if Hollywood’s increased attention to international audiences will alter the movies we get domestically in any way. Films like “Pacific Rim” and “Iron Man 3” were already catered towards different markets, and we’ll no doubt see more of that in the future.
What are your thoughts on the growing power of the international market or any of the other figures revealed by the MPAA? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.