Thursday, December 30, 2010

Theatrical Film Revenue Down

As the year is near its end, it may be worth noting that movie ticket sales and revenue are down for the year. Was it high ticket prices, a bad economy, or the technological impact of on demand, no word yet, but it would be hard to discount all three from having an impact. Per the numbers, ticket sales are down 12 billion tickets, the lowest number since 1996. Thanks to higher ticket prices, last year was a banner year for sales. This year revenue is below 2009 with 2 days remaining, but still above $10 billion, a healthy amount.

So less people are going to the movies but still paying more. Still they are watching movies, through on demand, DVD, and other means. So likely, the revenue coming to movie studios should be higher given the additional distribution streams selling movie views.

So what were the most financially successful films in 2010? According to The Numbers, Toy Story 3 is number 1, with Avatar close behind. Alice in Wonderland, Iron Man 2, and Twilight Eclipse round out the top 5. Clearly 2010 was the year of sequels, with 3 of the top 5 and 4 of the top 10. Sequels should once again top the list in 2011. And of course 3D also helped with more than half of the top 10 films.

So watch your wallets and choose where you want to watch. 3D is clearly helping to push consumers to the theater. Budgets also cause others to wait till On Demand or DVD to catch up. In either case, the revenue continues to remain strong.

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