Magazine article Screen International

Strong Dollar Impacted 2016 International Box Office

Magazine article Screen International

Strong Dollar Impacted 2016 International Box Office

Article excerpt

Ticket revenues outside North America roughly on par with 2015 although many territories reported local currency gains, MPAA annual report reveals.

Motion Picture Association Of America (MPAA) chief Senator Chris Dodd and National Association Of Theatre Owners president John Fithian presented a typically bullish overview of theatre-going on Wednesday.

As they unveiled the Theatrical Market Statistics 2016 report, the strong dollar and slow-down in China were cited as reasons for the year's international box office holding even on $27.2bn.

The North American $11.4bn haul saw 2% growth and contributed to a 1% worldwide gain that propelled grosses to $38.6bn.

The slow-down in cinema attendance by the Latino cinema-going demographic in North America - one that has over-indexed in recent years compared to its share of the population - prompted questions during a conference call with reporters.

Senator Dodd said the MPAA remained committed to diversity and outreach efforts and pointed to the rise in per capita attendance among the African American and Asian/Other brackets.

Fithian expressed similar sentiments and the NATO chief noted how 2016 box office had grown in North America despite predictions otherwise. He added that 2017 was already looking promising as the first quarter led the year-ago period by just under 5%.

Both executives spoke to the rise of personal devices and alternative forms of entertainment and yet remarked how Millennials represented a large part of the cinema-going demographic.

Report highlights follow.


Top markets

China led the way on $6.6bn, Japan on $2bn, India on $1.9bn, the UK on $1.7bn, France on $1.6bn, South Korea on $1.5bn, Germany on $1.1bn, Australia on $900m, Mexico on $800m, and Brazil, Italy, Russia and Spain on $700m each.

Rounding out the top 20 are Netherlands, Indonesia, Taiwan, Argentina and Hong Kong on $300m each, and Poland and Turkey on $200m apiece.

By region

Box office in Asia Pacific reached $14.9bn, up 5% against 2015. Key drivers were a 28% climb in India and a 27% rise in Japan. Chinese box office increased 4% in local currency and dropped 1% in USD terms.

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, box office dropped 2% in USD. In USD, the UK fell 10% as sterling depreciated 12% against the dollar. Germany fell 13% in USD, however Italy and France experienced increases of 6% and 5%.

Latin American box office dropped 18% in USD, although many markets reported local currency increases. Brazil gained 5% in USD terms, but it was an exception.

Argentina, which went through tough economic times last year as a result of austerity measures by Mauricio Macri's new centre-right government, fell 37%, while Venezuela, which continues to struggle economically, fell 31%. Mexican box office dropped 15% in USD terms.

Screen count

The worldwide count increased by 8% to nearly 164,000 driven chiefly by 18% growth in Asia Pacific. Global digital count grew 10% - a slower rate as international markets mature. The report said 95% of global screens are now digital, up from 93% in 2015. Asia Pacific has the lowest proportion on 90%.

The global proportion of 3D screens grew 3% to 56% of all digital screens. Asia Pacific has the highest proportion. Across all regions, the number of digital 3D grew at a faster pace - 17% - than the 15% growth rate in 2015.

Premium Large Format screens grew in all regions. North America led the way on 945 - a 2% gain since 2015 - followed by Asia pacific on 859, up 1%. …

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