Hollywood, Once Again, Sets A Record At The Box Office
from the well,-look-at-that dept
Considering how much time the MPAA has spent arguing that the sky is falling, that jobs are disappearing and the movie industry is collapsing, you’d have to imagine that its PR people had to think long and hard about how they “spin” the news that global box-office receipts set yet another new record in 2011, as they rose by 3%. It really is quite the PR challenge, and the MPAA pulls it off with a bizarre press release patting itself on the back, and then insisting that piracy is right now… just about… this close… no, really… finally…. maybe… having an impact. How’s this for awkward:
“Innovation and technology continue to be a driving force for our business,” Dodd said. “People are driven to fill theater seats by the promise of great films and a great, technologically enhanced movie going experience. But online content theft continues to threaten the economic success of our industry — an industry that employs millions of Americans and brings money into the U.S. economy from around the world. We should protect that success, not undermine it by stealing products and cutting the revenue it puts into the U.S. economy.”
Yup. Love the spin, overpaid MPAA PR people: “protect that success”? Good stuff. “We’re dying so bad that we’re setting tremendous new records…”
Also, pretty much anywhere around the globe that you look, box office revenue is up. Over the last five years, box-office revenue from Europe, the Middle East and Africa is up a whopping 24%. Asia Pacific? Up 38%. Latin America? Up an astounding 86%.
Buried deep within the MPAA’s report is the basic admission that the reason for the drop in 2011 certainly wasn’t “piracy,” but rather the lack of Avatar:
3D box office was down $400 million in 2011 compared to 2010, which contained Avatar’s record-breaking 3D box office performance, while 2D box office was consistent with 2010.
Some keep trying to make a big deal out of the fact that the actual number of tickets sold has shown a steady decline, but that’s silly. No business is focused on maximizing tickets sold. They focus on maximizing revenue. If the goal was to maximize tickets sold, that’s easy, just lower the price to a penny and watch the number of tickets sold go sky high. Instead, as the report shows, ticket prices have continued to rise, though it rose by the smallest amount (1%) in 2011 that it has since 2002. That suggests, at least, that earlier in the decade they may have been underpricing a bit, but may have found something of a ceiling, for the time being.