These are old themes for the MPAA chief, but he had some fresh data to support his case in his presentation at CinemaCon this morning. He says that box office in China soared to $3.6B in 2013, a year when sales in the U.S. and Canada hit $10.9B (+1%) and overseas hit $25B (+4.6%). Chris Dodd says that 13 new screens are opening each day in China and cited rapid growth of modern theaters in countries such as Cambodia and Pakistan. He also said that he has lost none of his zeal to fight piracy globally. It “is today, and shall remain as long as I have this job, a top priority.” He thanked theater owners for helping to crack down on the illegal use of camcorders. “The good news is we are making some progress.” He adds, though, that the industry has to see technology as “our friend and not our foe. … The most frequent moviegoers tend to own more technological devices than the population at large.”
He calls his studio members “technology companies that manufacture content. … That is why we need to keep being innovative.” Dodd seemed to appreciate the limits of his pro-technology message at the gathering of theater owners. Smartphones, he says, “will never ever be able to surpass that shared experience you supply. … That moviegoing experience is one of the last spaces where we can have a unique, collective experience.”
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