Gov’t foresees flat B.O. in ’93

Box office receipts for film studios will remain stagnant this year, while the recording industry and cable TV industry will show healthy revenue increases , the U.S. Dept. of Commerce predicts.

Those forecasts on entertainment sectors in the economy are included in the U.S. Industrial Outlook 1993 released by Commerce officials yesterday.

The report estimates that total U.S. box office for 1993 will be in the same range as the final 1992 tally of $ 4.9 billion. No significant gain is forecast for the new year, per the report.

“The film industry must overcome its inability to keep admissions growing at the same pace as the population before substantial increases in box office receipts can be achieved,” said the report, which forecast B.O. growth at no more than 1% a year through 1997.

While Commerce honchos expect the U.S. economy as a whole to grow at 2.7% for the year, the cable TV and music industries are poised for nifty 12% and 11% growth rates, respectively.

The recording industry’s expected banner year will be fueled by continued penetration of compact disc players into U.S. households, per Commerce.

CD sales are expected to hit 500 million while generating $ 6 billion in revenues in 1993, Commerce predicts. By contrast, sales of cassette recordings will tally 335 million for the year, the agency says.

Revenue generated from the sale of musicvideos will increase 5% for the year, according to Commerce.

Commerce forecasts an average annual growth rate of 9% for the music industry through 1997, with new digital recording devices contributing to the growth.

In the homevideo sector, a growth rate of 5% is predicted in 1993. A 3% to 7% annual growth rate is forecast in homevid over the next five years, with the advent of pay-per-view TV cutting into industry sales.

Commerce forecasts another blue-sky year for cable TV, with revenue increases projected in the 12% range to $ 25 billion. Growth rates of 8% to 10% through 1997 are expected for cablers, which is down somewhat from the double-digit revenue increases of the 1980s.

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