Ticket sales, grosses have little growth

Worldwide cinema ticket sales and box office grosses both increased in 2007, according to research released Monday by U.K.-based cinema analysts Dodona Research.

Ticket sales rose 2% to 7.25 billion from the previous year and B.O. grosses leapt 10% to $28 billion, helped by falling exchange rates for the U.S. dollar. Research is based on findings from 57 countries, whose 4.5 billion people account for more than 95% of worldwide B.O. grosses.

Dodona says 2008 is shaping up to be a fairly flat year in most territories, with the exception of China (expected to end the year up 46% in admissions), Germany and France (both expected to be up 7%).

Report also focuses on changes in the 2002-07 period, noting hikes in the number of screens, admissions and grosses. Dodona says that improved theaters, in emerging markets especially, have helped ticket prices rise at rates outpacing inflation.

But Dodona expects a less favorable picture over the next five years due to difficult conditions in financial markets and the world economy. The fastest-growing markets are forecast to be China (admissions up 108%), United Arab Emirates (up 33%), Russia (up 31%), Malaysia (up 31%) and Romania (up 27%).

Of the mature markets of Western Europe, France is expected to show the brightest growth over the next five years.

“Every year that passes sees this become a more geographically diverse business and the dominance of the Hollywood studios within it a little less,” said Dodona managing director Karsten-Peter Grummitt.

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