Mixed Results for U.S. Movie Industry in 2011
Barnes, Brooks, International Herald Tribune
While global ticket sales climbed 3 percent last year, movie attendance in North America was the lowest in at least a decade.
The Motion Picture Association of America, releasing its annual snapshot of global moviegoer trends, looked on the bright side, as its job requires.
Global ticket sales for 2011 climbed 3 percent, to $32.6 billion, from the level of a year earlier, driven by increases in Brazil, China, Mexico and Russia. As for North America, the association would like to focus on the fact that domestic box office revenues of $10.2 billion were 6 percent higher than they had been five years earlier.
The picture darkens from there.
Year-on-year revenue in North America fell 4 percent over all on a 4.5 percent drop in admissions, to 1.28 billion, the lowest level in at least a decade. Revenue from 3-D movies in North America fell 18 percent, partly because it suffered in comparison with revenue in 2010, which included unprecedented sales from "Avatar." Ticket prices climbed 1 percent, to $7.93. …