Revs grew 12.7% to $658 mil in the U.S. in 2010

Advertisers are moving more of their marketing dollars to the megaplex.

Revenue from in-theater ads grew 12.7% to $658 million in the U.S. in 2010, according to the Cinema Advertising Council, which revealed the results today at the CinemaCon confab in Las Vegas.

The figures mark the first time the CAC has seen double-digit growth from marketers since 2007, when they spent 18.5% more than in ’06. Sales were up just 2% in ’09, coming in at $584 million. Local ad sales grew 8.2%, accounting for 19.8% of the total cinema advertising market.

The CAC’s results reflect 90% of domestic movie screens and count commercials that air before movie previews, as well as lobby-based promos. Onscreen ads dominate, with 91.5% of revenues, up 10.8% last year, though offscreen ads also grew 38% to account for 8.5% of the cinema ad market.

The uptick in spending is attributed to a growing number of newcomers, including Fujifilm, Esurance and Kraft brands like Ritz, Triscuits and Macaroni & Cheese, that bought in-theater ads for the first time. Overall, the top categories were auto, electronics, entertainment, financial, communications, consumer packaged goods, health and beauty, soft drinks, the military and videogames.

At the same time, digital projection and in-theater networks have enabled advertisers to target specific auds with campaigns and take advantage of 3D.

“More and more, brands are planning cinema as an integral part of their media mix in order to reach younger demographics and light TV viewers,” said Cliff Marks, prexy-chairman of the CAC.

The nonprofit trade org serves cinema ad sellers, exhibs and advertisers. Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co. tabulated the advertising data.

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