Moviegoing up in the US, worldwide

4:51 PM, Mar 21, 2013   |    comments
Hot buttered popcorn in the snack bar Moonlite Theater Abingdon, Virginia. (Photo: Michael Madrid, USA TODAY)
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(USA TODAY) More than two-thirds of Americans went to the movies last year, and nearly half caught at least one 3-D movie, the Motion Picture Association of America says.

In its annual report released Thursday afternoon, the MPAA says that moviegoing worldwide is on the uptick: sales are up 6% in North America and worldwide.

The MPAA credited much of the upswing to theater construction worldwide, which has helped foreign markets account for more than two-thirds of most movies' overall box office haul, the report says.

Among the MPAA findings:

  • U.S. and Canadian box office hit a record $10.8 billion in 2012, up 6% over the previous year. Attendance also surged 6%
  • About 68% of the North American population, or 225 million people, went to the movies at least once in 2012.
  • Roughly 48% of moviegoers saw at least one film in 3-D last year, about the same percentage as in 2011.
  • Global box office hit a record $34.7 billion, up 6% over the previous year.

Among other nations, China is seeing the fastest growth at the multiplex. According to the report, Chinese box office grew by 36% last year to $2.7 billion, putting it ahead of Japan and Latin America.

While analysts expected the surge, one nugget surprised observers: Illinois is the most avid film state in the country.

According to the MPAA, about 74% of Illinois residents saw a movie last year, followed by California (73%), Texas (72%) and Indiana (71%).

Scott Bowles

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