3D helps drive global box office to $31.8 billion

Updated: 2011-02-24 10:04


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The global box office hit a record $31.8 billion in 2010, growing 8 percent from the year before on the strength of 3D ticket sales and a hot Asia-Pacific market, a Hollywood industry group said on Wednesday.

But U.S. and Canadian movie ticket revenues were flat at $10.6 billion, according to the Motion Picture Association of America, which represents major U.S. film studios in government and business affairs.

The Asia-Pacific region saw the most growth in ticket sales with a 21 percent hike, and China accounted for a sizable chunk of that increase, the MPAA said.

"Despite a weak economy, shifting business models and the ongoing impact of digital theft, we had another record year at the global box office driven by growth outside the U.S. and Canada," Bob Pisano, president and interim CEO of the MPAA, said in a statement.

While the U.S. and Canada was flat, that market also benefited from consumers' taste for 3D films, as one in three people saw a 3D film in 2010, the MPAA said.

Movies in 3D made up 21 percent of U.S. and Canada ticket sales, accounting for a total of $2.2 billion.

In a negative sign for the industry, the total number of tickets sold in the U.S. and Canada declined 5 percent to 1.34 billion, the MPAA said. In an ironic twist, the total number of moviegoers was actually up slightly, but those people going to movies saw fewer films.

The average ticket price for the U.S. and Canada climbed to $7.89 from $7.50 the year before, which made for flat box office revenues despite the decline in attendance.


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