No wind in sales for indies o’seas

Theatrical sales were up 7% in 2000 to an all-time high of $849 mil

Total overseas film and TV revenues of independent sales companies dipped 6% to $2.62 billion for the year ended Dec. 31, 2000 — the first decline in six years — according to the annual AFMA membership sales survey.

Primary factors behind the decline, according to the report, are a contracting international TV market and a significantly declining video market. The declining strength of foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar hurt buying power and affected sales figures. The euro fell nearly 16% against the dollar, with local currency changes accounting for over 13% of the sales decline in the region.

Theatrical sales were up 7% in 2000 to an all-time high of $849 million. Television was down 6%, falling to just under $1.22 billion. Video fell by 21% in 2000 to just under $554 million.

TV revenue declined in all major territories, most notably in Western Europe. The exception was Japan, which posted revs of $120 million — a gain of 38%.

In terms of video revenue, Western Europe was again the biggest contributor to the decline in revenue. The dip was also acute in Asia, where piracy levels are among the highest in the world, though Japan remained somewhat stable, with sales down just 3%.

Teutons tote healthy sales

Despite the economic woes of its publicly listed Neuer Markt companies, Germany generated sales of $146.7 million.

The U.K. posted the region’s largest gain, 69%, to the No. 3 sales spot for the year. France also posted a healthy increase of 4.5%, but a softening market in Spain and Italy dragged the region down by 4.5% for the year.

Western Europe accounted for $1.62 billion in revenues for AFMA member companies, or 62% of the 2000 total.

“We are encouraged by the advances our members have made in the theatrical market,” said Kathy Morgan, chairman of AFMA. “While video sales continued to slide, we do look for improvement in that market once DVD technology has become more widely adopted by consumers.”

The AFMA survey consists of unaudited figures reported by approximately 50% of the 139 eligible member companies in 33 territories.

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