Global Box Office Revenues Grow Despite a Drop in North America

March 24, 2020

MPA Global Box Office Revenues 2015 2019 Mar2020Total global box office revenues grew to $42.2 billion last year, which was about a 1% increase over the $41.8 billion from 2018. This is according to the most recent THEME Report from the Motion Picture Association (MPA), which covers global activity in 2019.

The growth in global box office revenues is largely due to a growth in the international (non-North American) market, which climbed by 3% to $30.8 billion. By contrast, the US and Canadian box office total dipped 4% from 2018’s box office high of $11.9 billion to $11.4 billion.

Growth in international box office revenues helped to increase its share of total revenues in 2019 to 73%. Over a longer period of time, international box office revenues have grown by 10% since 2015, while US and Canadian revenue over the same period has only experienced a 2% rise.

As a means of comparison, last year PwC forecasted that US box office revenues would grow by nearly 13% between 2019 ($11.1 billion) and 2023 ($12.5 billion). That forecast is now surely in need of revision given the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in isolation measures that have made moviegoing an impossibility for the time being.

Returning to the THEME Report, unlike last year, there was at least modest growth across the international regions. The Asia-Pacific region – the largest of the international markets – experienced a 5% year-over-year (y-o-y) increase of $0.7 billion to $17.8 billion in revenues. It has also seen a 22% increase since 2015.

Latin American box office revenues, which experienced a 22% decrease between 2017 and 2018, saw a lift of 3% y-o-y to $2.7 billion. Despite this, box office revenues in Latin America have declined 19% since 2015.

China is the single largest international market, accounting for $9.3 billion in box office revenues in 2019, making its takings almost 4 times higher than the next-largest market, Japan ($2.4 billion).

China is inching closer and closer to closing the gap with North America, as the US and Canada combined for $11.4 billion in box office revenues.

Within the US and Canada, there were 1.24 billion admissions last year, reports the MPAA, equating to 3.5 per capita.

While down from last year (1.3 billion), the 1.24 billion admissions was more than double the number of admissions to Theme Parks (422 million) and major US sports (129 million), combined.

Home Entertainment Market Keeps Growing

Although admissions and total box office revenue decreased in the US and Canada last year, the home entertainment market saw an increase.

In fact, the digital home entertainment market in the US jumped by 18% to almost $20.5 billion in revenues, more than offsetting the 19% decline in the physical home entertainment market (to $4.7 billion). The cumulative effect was a 9% increase in US home entertainment spending, to $25.2 billion.

Globally, consumer spending on home entertainment increased by 14% to $58.8 billion.

The full report can be viewed here.

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