MPA Annual Industry Report Shows Global Entertainment Spending Hitting Record $101B

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Sony; Shutterstock

The Motion Picture Association has released its annual THEME report, summarizing last year’s showbiz spending and demographic data. And while it’s old news that the global box office reached a high of $42.2 billion and domestic of $11.4B in 2019, -4% from 2018, the trade org reported that for the first time ever, total global entertainment spending topped $101B (+8% over 2018) across theatrical, home and mobile entertainment spending. Mobile/home entertainment spending accounted for a combined record $58.8B, +14% over 2018.

Of that $101B figure, 42% came from theatrical revenue and 48% from digital, while physical (DVDs) entertainment pulled in 10% or $10.1 billion, the latter an all-time low.

Motion Picture Association

With the average U.S/Canada ticket price reaching a high of $9.16, +1% over 2018, admissions fell 5% year on year to 1.24 billion, a low last registered in 2017; the past decade’s high was 2012 with 1.36 billion tickets punched. At the same time there were a record number of films in play at domestic theaters at 835 titles, +9% over 2018 with a record 708 new titles, +10%.

In terms of screens, U.S./Canada currently counts 44,253, comprised of analog, 3D and 2D digital. Worldwide digital screens grew to 195,282, +7% due to a huge build out in Asia/Pacific to 93,153 digital screens, which forced total international digital screens up from 138,535 in 2018 to 151,601 last year, or +9%.

As legendary MPA boss Jack Valenti always heralded, going to the movies is the most economic form of entertainment for a family of 4, and the trade org continues to beat that drum. Last year, a family could steal away to the movies for an average total of $36.54 (in ticket prices), versus the combined ticket prices of four for NFL games ($409.40), NHL ($295.12), NBA ($294.64), theme park ($249.44), and a MLB game ($131.96).

While there was an even split among men and women in regards to their U.S./Canada moviegoing, 25- to 39-year-olds remained the biggest frequent moviegoing demo over the last three years with 10.7M attending, followed by 40-49 (6.3M), 60-plus (5.5M), 18-24 (5.4M), 12-17 (5.3M), 50-59 (4.2M) and under 12 (2.6M). While most demo groups eased in their admissions, 12- to 17-year-olds grew from 5M in 2018 to 5.3M last year or +6%. The report beamed, “Per capita attendance was highest among the 12-17 (4.9 tickets sold per person) and 18-24-year-old (4.7) age groups in 2019, proving that young people can drive box office success,” this despite major studios’ continual reported headaches to dynamite the under 18 demo to non-superhero fare.

Other booms lied in the streaming arena showing that subscriptions to online video services worldwide increased to 863.9 million and in the United States to 237.2 million in 2019, a respective 28% and 26% uptick year-on-year. More than 75% of adults watched movies and television shows on online subscription services, while more than 85% of children and more than 55% of adults watch movies and/or television shows on mobile devices.

While transactional and subscription video purchases on mobile and in the home grew to a record $25.2B, +8.6% annually, broken out the bulk came from subscription revenue which reached a high of $16.2B, +23% from 2018, while transactional purchases fell to $9B, -10% annually.

Slightly more females than males engaged in subscription streaming (53% to 47%), while significantly more guys watched DVDs then females (62% to 38%), and on VOD and EST too (63% men to 37% females).

“The film, television, and streaming industry continues to transform at breakneck pace, and this report shows that audiences are the big winners,” said Charles Rivkin, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association. “Most importantly, our industry continues to innovate and deliver great storytelling for movie and TV fans — where, when, and how they want it.”

One stat greatly missed from the MPA report is the average production budget for a major studio film and independent film in a given year, numbers greatly coveted by producers and studios.

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