Global movie ticket sales stagnant last year

LOS ANGELES • The Motion Picture Association of America on Wednesday said international movie ticket sales showed no growth last year.

Increases in countries such as Brazil and Japan could not offset steep declines in places such as Germany, which was down 13 per cent; Britain, where the drop was 10 per cent; and Mexico, which saw a 15 per cent plunge.

And China was flat. Growth there was held back by factors including a crackdown on box-office fraud, fewer ticket subsidies and more discerning consumers.

For the last decade, movie studios had relied on the international box office for most of their growth.

Between 2006 and last year, ticket sales in the United States and Canada increased by 20 per cent to US$11.4 billion (S$16 billion). The foreign box office increased by 67 per cent to US$27.2 billion.

In some years since 2006, the annual increase in overseas sales has been as high as 14 per cent as markets such as China have grown at a scorching pace.

An effort is under way to increase the number of Hollywood films that China allows to be shown. There is now a 34-film annual quota.

But the Motion Picture Association of America and National Association of Theatre Owners said that a stronger greenback was the primary culprit for the foreign fall- off. They emphasised that global ticket sales had risen by 1 per cent to US$38.6 billion because of a 2 per cent increase in sales in the US and Canada.

Even so, the increase in domestic ticket sales was caused by higher prices. Movie theatre attendance in the US and Canada was flat at 1.32 billion.

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2017, with the headline 'Global movie ticket sales stagnant last year'. Print Edition | Subscribe