The Motion Picture Association reports a record year for the global theatrical and streaming market in 2019, according to its annual THEME report. Movie theater sales and streaming revenue crossed $100 billion for the first time in history, driven by a global record $42.2 billion in box office and $58.8 million in home entertainment sales.
While the $11.4 billion in domestic theatrical revenues from North America didn’t set a new record in 2019 (it sits second, behind 2018’s $11.9 billion), the international box office recorded its first $30 billion year in history.
“There are several factors that played into the growth of the global box office, including well-known blockbuster franchises, such as Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home, as well as Joker, which put a dark, new twist on an iconic comic villain and had audiences flocking to theaters,” said Charles Rivkin, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association, in an exclusive interview with Boxoffice Pro. “Films with diverse representation, including Dora and the Lost City of Gold and Harriet, also helped draw in new moviegoers. Beyond great storytelling, theater owners continue to innovate the cinematic experience—with online ticketing options, rewards programs, and state-of-the-art sound, projection, and seating. The total number of theatrical screens also went up by 7 percent, and the average moviegoer bought more tickets throughout the year.”
Internationally, APAC once again led all regional markets ($17.8 billion) followed by EMEA ($10.3 billion), and Latin America ($2.7 billion). The global market share of 3D screenings continued to fall in 2019. 3D brought in $6.5 billion throughout the year, representing 15 percent market share in ticket sales. 3D sales have fallen 22 percent since 2015.
More than three-quarters of the U.S./Canada population reported at least one cinema visit in 2019, a slight increase from 2018. Young audiences continue to drive the domestic office, with per capita attendance highest among 12-17 year olds (4.9 tickets sold per person) and 18-24 year olds (4.7 tickets sold per person). Diverse audiences showed their influence at the domestic box office in 2019, with Hispanic/Latin audiences (4.7) and Asian (4.1) groups leading all other ethnicities at the box office. There was an even split between male and female audiences in 2019, with the average moviegoer buying 4.6 tickets throughout the year. Domestically, the price of a movie ticket increased by 1 percent over 2018, with an average cost of $9.16.
Home entertainment revenue increased by 14 percent to reach $58.8 billion in 2019, including an 8 percent bump in the United States to $25.2 billion. Subscription services were the main catalysts to this growth, increasing to 237.2 million in the United States (+26%) and 836.8 million worldwide (+28%). More than 75 percent of adults reported consuming entertainment on online subscription services.
The uptick in subscription services has driven a stream of investment from media conglomerates and studios to launch their own platforms. Cinema chains are no streaming to the medium themselves. The leading circuits in the United States (AMC Theatres), Canada (Cineplex), and Mexico (Cinépolis) each offer their own respective streaming channels to audiences.
The number of total cinema screens around the world increased by 7 percent alongside the global growth of home entertainment in 2019. There are now over 200,000 movie screens worldwide, led by a 12 percent increase in new screens coming from Asia Pacific. Domestically, the North American market reported its highest-screen count for the last five years with a total of 41,172 screens in operation.
2019 Top 20 International Box Office Markets
- China ($9.3 billion)
- Japan ($2.4 billion)
- South Korea ($1.6 billion)
- United Kingdom ($1.6 billion)
- France ($1.6 billion)
- India ($1.6 billion)
- Germany ($1.2 billion)
- Mexico ($1 billion)
- Russia ($0.9 billion)
- Australia ($0.9 billion)
- Italy ($0.7 billion)
- Spain ($0.7 billion)
- Brazil ($0.7 billion)
- Taiwan ($0.4 billion)
- Netherlands ($0.4 billion)
- Indonesia ($0.4 billion)
- Poland ($0.3 billion)
- United Arab Emirates ($0.3 billion)
- Malaysia ($0.3 billion)
- Hong Kong ($0.3 billion)