Global box office hits record $53.3 billion in 2017, driven by growth in China

Hollywood's worldwide box-office revenue grew 5 percent to a record US$40.6 billion (S$53.3 billion) in 2017, even as movie-going slumped in the US and Canada.
Hollywood's worldwide box-office revenue grew 5 percent to a record US$40.6 billion (S$53.3 billion) in 2017, even as movie-going slumped in the US and Canada.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (BLOOMBERG, AFP) - Overseas ticket sales saved the day for Hollywood last year.

Worldwide box-office revenue grew 5 percent to a record US$40.6 billion (S$53.3 billion) in 2017, even as movie-going slumped in the United States and Canada, the largest market, according to a report on Wednesday (April 4) from the Motion Picture Association of America.

The data underscore the growing importance of international markets to US studios, with territories outside North America accounting for 73 percent of revenue and all of the growth.

They also highlight potential risks for Hollywood as President Donald Trump slaps tariffs on China for what he says is unfair competition, including theft of intellectual property. Major studios have worked for years to get more of their movies released in China, the No.2 market, and could face retaliation.

China's 21 percent increase in movie ticket sales, to US$7.9 billion, was a driver of global growth, according to the MPAA. The other top international markets are Japan, Britain, India, and South Korea.

Latin America, another target of Trump's ire, was another bright spot, up 22 percent, the MPAA said.

The US and Canada generated US$11.1 billion, down 2 percent from the previous year, with Hispanic and Asian movie fans being the greatest per-capita consumers of Hollywood fare.

Globally consumer spending on home entertainment, digitally and on disc, rose 11 percent to US$47.8 billion. US digital spending, which includes electronic sales, video-on-demand and subscription streaming, rose 20 percent. International digital spending was up 41 percent, the MPAA said.