China Explosion Drove Record Global Box Office in 2014, MPAA Reports

Grosses in the People’s Republic grew 34 percent and powered $36.4 billion in worldwide receipts while the U.S. box office fell 5 percent

Last Updated: March 11, 2015 @ 12:06 PM

China’s box office grew 34 percent in 2014 to $4.8 billion, becoming the first international market to exceed $4 billion and driving a record $36.4 billion in global grosses last year, the Motion Picture Assn. of America reported Wednesday.

The new worldwide mark came despite a drop in the U.S./Canada box office, which at $10.4 billion was down five percent. The Asia Pacific region, which was up by 12 percent, was a big part of the surge as international made up 72 percent of the global grosses, an all-time high.

The info was part of the 2014 Theatrical Market Statistics Report issued by the MPAA, the umbrella trade group that represents the Hollywood studios in Washington D.C. and globally.

“This is not just an American story of success, but a worldwide story about the value of craft, creativity and the importance of a story well told,” said Sen. Chris Dodd, MPAA Chairman and CEO.

global growth“We tell stories that transcend borders and transform individual experiences into shared ones. 2014 was a strong year, and 2015 is starting out tremendously, with box office in the U.S./Canada up 11 percent in the first two months of this year,” he said.

Other highlights on the domestic box office from Wednesday’s report:

>> Admissions, or tickets sold (1.27 billion), and average tickets sold per person (3.7) both declined six percent in 2014.

>> The average cinema ticket price increased by 4 cents (less than one percent in 2014, less than the rate of inflation in the economy.

>> More than two-thirds of the U.S./Canada population (68 percent) – or 229.7 million people – went to the cinema at least once in 2014, comparable to the previous year. Frequent moviegoers who go to the cinema once a month or more continue to drive the movie industry, accounting for 51 percent of all tickets sold in the U.S./Canada. Despite an increase in frequent moviegoers in 2014, total tickets purchased by frequent moviegoers, occasional and infrequent moviegoers all decreased in 2014 compared to 2013.

>> In 2014 the share of tickets sold to 40-49 and 50-59 year olds were at all time highs, while the share of tickets sold to 60+ year olds (13 percent) was at its highest level since 2011. Moviegoer demographic shares remain relatively stable from 2013 to 2014, with 12-17, 18-24 year olds and Hispanics especially continuing to oversample in tickets sold versus their proportion of the population.

>> Frequent moviegoers tend to own more key technology products than the general population of adults 18 years and older. Over two-thirds of all frequent moviegoers (73 percent) own at least four different types of key technology products, compared to 55 percent of the total adult population.

>> Films released by MPAA member studios increased for the first time in five years, reaching 136 in 2014. Total films released and films by non-MPAA member studios also increased from 2013 (up 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively).

>> Among the top five grossing films in 2014, “Guardians Of The Galaxy,” “Captain America: The Winter Solider,” “The LEGO Movie” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction” attracted majority male audiences, while “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” showed the strongest female attendance of the top five films, with 57 percent of box office revenue coming from women.

>> “Transformers Age of Extinction”drew the most ethnically diverse audience, earning 38 percent of its box office from Caucasian audiences, 22 percent from African-American audiences, 26 percent from Hispanic audiences, and 14 percent from the Asian/Other audience group.