Although the movie and cinema industry currently face hard times because of the coronavirus outbreak, new figures reveal that 2019 was a bumper year as the global entertainment market surpassed $100bn in revenues for the first time.
According to the Motion Picture Association (MPA), which includes the major studios as well as Netflix among its members, global revenues reached a record $101bn last year.
Worldwide box office receipts reached a high of $42.2bn, with the US and Canada accounting for $11.4bn of the total, while home/mobile entertainment grew 14% year-on-year to $58.8bn.
The US home/mobile entertainment market grew 8% year-on-year to $25.2bn, or almost half the global total, and the MPA attributed the increase to digital, which grew 18% in the US and 29% internationally from the previous year.
“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, the MPA’s chairman and CEO.
“Most importantly, our industry continues to innovate and deliver great storytelling for movie and TV fans – where, when and how they want it,” he added.
Looking at the US/Canada box office in closer detail, the MPA report said around three-quarters (76%) of the population, or 268 million people, visited the cinema at least once in 2019.
Per capita attendance was highest among younger cinema-goers with 18- to 24-year-olds buying an average of 4.7 tickets over the year, rising to an average of 4.9 tickets among the 12 to 17 age group.
Audiences were evenly split between men and women, the MPA said, adding that attendance was highest among Hispanic and Latino audiences (4.7 tickets a year), followed by Asian movie-goers (4.1 tickets).
Elsewhere, the report found that the number of subscriptions to online video services around the world increased to 863.9 million (+28%), including 237.2 million in the US (+26%).
More than three-quarters of adults watched movies and TV shows via online subscription services last year, and more than 85% of children and 55% of adults watched movies and/or TV shows on their mobile devices.
The MPA’s upbeat findings, however, come as the entertainment industry grapples with the consequences of coronavirus, which the World Health Organization has now officially declared to be a pandemic.
Italy, the worst affected country in Europe, has introduced sweeping and draconian measures, including the closure of all cinemas, museums and theatres.
And Cineworld, the second-largest cinema operator in the world, has warned that coronavirus could leave the company unable to pay its debts, the Telegraph reported.
It said, if its cinemas were forced to close for up to three months in a worst-case scenario, that “may cast significant doubt about the group’s ability to continue as a going concern”.
Sourced from Motion Picture Association, Telegraph; additional content by WARC staff