A surge in teen moviegoing helped to lift total box office spending in North America by 6.7% last year to $11.1 billion, the Motion Picture Association of America said today in its annual Theatrical Market Statistics report.
Total admissions at 1.32 billion were up 3.9%. That’s the first annual increase since 2012, and the fourth in the last decade. The average outlay for a ticket was up 3.2% to $8.43, even though the Consumer Price Index remained flat.
MPAA chief Chris Dodd was impressed by what he saw among tech-savvy 12-to-17 year olds. “Younger people share more info,” he said today at the exhibition industry’s CinemaCon confab in Las Vegas.
Teens accounted for 16% of ticket sales, although they’re only 8% of the population. They went to the movies more than any other demo last year, 7.3 times — up 14% vs 2014. They were followed by 18-to-24 year-olds who averaged 5.9 movies in 2015.
About 31% of the population in North America did not attend a movie last year, and another 10% only saw one. Close to half attend less than once a month.
The number of frequent moviegoers, attending at least once a month, fell slightly by one percentage point to 10%. That group accounted for nearly half of all ticket sales.
International spending was up 4.6% to $27.2 billion. A 13.7% lift in the Asia Pacific (to $14.1 billion) and 13.3% increase in Latin America (to $3.4 billion) outweighed the 8.5% drop in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (to $9.7 billion).
China accounted for $6.8 billion in sales, up 49%.
Here’s how some of the data look in chart form: