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African Americans Purchased More Movie Tickets In 2013 Than In 2012 - The First Year-Over-Year Increase Since 2009 & Other Facts To Know About The 2013 Year In Film

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act March 26, 2014 at 2:25PM

African Americans Purchased More Movie Tickets In 2013 Than In 2012 - The First Year-Over-Year Increase Since 2009 & Other Facts To Know About The 2013 Year In Film
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Movie Theater

In a newly released annual theatrical market statistics report, MPAA Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd delivered (yesterday at CinemaCon, in Las Vegas, the annual National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) convention) his state of the industry address, during which he announced new figures that found global box office receipts for all films released in 2013 reached $35.9 billion, up 4% from the previous year.

 

The international market played a vital role in the record-breaking year, as international box office for movies produced in the U.S. and throughout the world, was up 5% to $25 billion, but has increased by 33% just over the past 5 years.

Senator Dodd also spoke of innovative ways film and television creators and consumers are embracing new technology:

“We need to keep exploring fresh ways of leveraging our new technology to drive traffic to your theaters. We can embrace technology, and use it to complement our offerings….A smartphone can make more content available, but it will never be able to surpass the shared experience that you deliver to every person who sits in your theaters.” “After all, the most frequent moviegoers tend to own more technological devices than the general population. Nearly three-quarters of all frequent moviegoers own at least four different pieces of new technology.”

In addition, this year’s report for the first time explored the demographic breakdown of the top grossing films of 2013. The results reflect a moviegoing audience that is an ethnically diverse snapshot of the country’s population.

Among the top grossing films, Man of Steel drew the most ethnically diverse audience, earning only 50% of its box office from Caucasian audiences and 19% from the Asian/Other audience group. The African American audience contributed a relatively high percentage (22%) to the box office earned from Iron Man 3, five percentage points above the average (17%). The Hunger Games: Catching Fire earned 64% of box office revenue from Caucasian audiences. Despicable Me 2, Man of Steel, and Monsters University all had higher than average contributions to box office from the “Asian/Other” audience group (18%,19%, and 17% respectively).

Although Caucasians make up the majority of the population and moviegoers (136 million), they represent a smaller share of 2013 ticket sales (54%). Hispanics are more likely than any other ethnic group to go to movies, but purchased fewer tickets in 2013 compared to 2012. African Americans on the other hand purchased more tickets in 2013 than they did 2012, likely thanks to the more than usual number of "black films" released by studios during the year, including critically-acclaimed hits like Fruitvale Station, 12 Years A Slave, The Butler, and a string of fall dramedies like Baggage Claim, Best Man Holiday, Black Nativity and more.  

Per the report, the share of Caucasian moviegoers has continuously decreased since 2009, declining a total of 4 percentage points (to 59%), while the share of Hispanic moviegoers has increased over the same time period (to 20%), and the shares of African American and “Other” moviegoers have remained stable since 2009.

Caucasians now account for less than 50% of frequent moviegoers and are underrepresented relative to their portion of the population.

Other highlights from the report include:

Global:

• All international regions experienced growth in 2013. Chinese box office ($3.6 billion) grew by 27% in 2013, becoming the first international market to exceed $3 billion in box office.

• Over 80% of the world’s nearly 135,000 cinema screens are now digital..

U.S./Canada

• 2013 U.S./Canada box office was $10.9 billion, up 1% compared to $10.8 billion in 2012, and up 3% from five years ago.

• More than two-thirds of the U.S./Canada population (68%) – or 227.8 million people – went to the movies at least once in 2013, consistent with prior years.

• Ticket sales continue to be driven by frequent moviegoers who, by definition, attend movies once a month or more. In 2013, frequent moviegoers represented 11% of the population and 50% of all movie tickets.

• In 2013 the share of tickets sold to 2-11 year olds was at its highest point since 2009 and the share of tickets sold to 50-59 year olds was at an all-time high, suggesting more family-friendly films, and films for adults.

• Broader moviegoer demographic shares remain relatively stable from 2012 to 2013, with 12-24 year olds and Hispanics continuing to grow versus their proportion of the population. Hispanics, 2-11 year olds, and older 50-59 year olds all experienced growth in the number of frequent moviegoers in their demographics.

• Among the top five grossing films in 2013, Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel both attracted overwhelmingly male audiences, while the family films Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University earned a majority share of box office from the female audience. Man of Steel drew the most ethnically diverse audience, earning only 50% of its box office from Caucasians and 19% from Asian/Other ethnicity audiences.

For a copy of Senator Dodd’s remarks, click HERE

And for the complete copy for the 2013 Theatrical Market Statistics Report, click HERE

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