Global & US box office hit all-time highs in 2007: MPAA

MUMBAI: The US and the global box office hit all-time highs in 2007. The US market passed the $9.6 billion mark, growing at 5.4 per cent, while the global box office grew 4.9 per cent to $26.7 billion.

As per the findings of The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc’s (MPAA) annual Theatrical Market Statistics Report for 2007, 11 movies grossed $200 million or more in the US, nearly twice that of 2006.

MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman said, “From the threat and eventual reality of a writer’s strike to the global impact of film theft to concerns over the economy, the film industry faced significant challenges in 2007. But, ultimately, we got our Hollywood ending. Once again, diverse, quality films and the timeless allure of the movie house proved a winning combination with consumers around the world.”

According to MPAA’s 2007 report, four of the 11 movies that grossed $200 million or more in the US, went on to break the $300-million mark. Additionally, nearly 50 per cent more films reached the $100 million mark in 2007. An increase of 25 per cent on average was seen for the top 10 films. What’s more, summer moviegoers were satisfied customers with 77 per cent noting that going to the movies was time and money well spent according to Nielsen research conducted for the MPAA.

Glickman also took the opportunity to share new consumer research that the MPAA conducted jointly with Yahoo! The findings confirmed that the Internet is becoming an increasingly pivotal medium for marketing films, having nearly as much influence over consumer decision making as radio and television.

No surprise then, that the MPAA’s report documents a three-fold increase in the studios’ online marketing investments in the last four years. Glickman said this jump illustrates how MPAA member companies are taking advantage of new opportunities to target consumers around the films they’d most like to see.

The MPAA/Yahoo! study found that 73 per cent of people who went to the movies used the Internet to conduct research, nearing the influence of radio and television, which 75 per cent of consumers cited in making decisions about which films to see. The study also found that consumers who used the Internet to research movies went earlier in a film’s release and more often to the theater.

The industry continued to provide consumers with a wide variety of selections in 2007, making 603 films, roughly the same as 2006. Of the top 20 films in 2007 80 per cent of film fare in the PG/PG-13 range… a slight increase, too, in R-rated films.

Nielsen data collected for MPAA also documented that one in seven consumers invested last year in five or more at-home content delivery options, such as digital cable, home theater systems, video-on-demand and movie downloads. Even more revealing, these heavy in-home consumers also ranked among the most avid movie-goers, on average making four more trips each year to the movies than their lower-tech counterparts.

“No matter where we live, no matter what’s going on in the world, good stories well told always find a place in our hearts, our lives and our local movie theaters. That’s the story of the box office in 2007,” Glickman said.