Entertainment purchases up 3.6%
ROME — Figures released by national rights association SIAE for entertainment-industry spending in Italy during the first half of 1997 show an increase of 3.6% over the same period in 1996, with admissions up for film and sporting events but down for theater, music, dance and opera.Italians spent a total of almost $1.4 billion on entertainment and spectator sports from January through June last year, up from just over $1.3 billion in the previous year’s first semester. The 3.6% rise exceeds the inflation rate of 2% for the period. Box office revenues for film posted the largest increase, climbing by 7.9% to total $271 million, with a hike in ticket prices of only 3.3%. The number of admissions rose by 4.4% to more than 50 million. Legit grosses were marginally notched up 1.9% by higher ticket prices to $101 million, but admissions dropped in number by 1.1%.