Poor spend more on entertainment

Overall spending on entertainment in U.S. fell 7% since 2009

No wonder Hollywood is hurting. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), spending on entertainment has declined 7% since 2009.

The poorest Americans are doing more than their fair share to stem this decline by spending a larger percentage of their income on entertainment than the rest of society.

Per BLS, the average U.S. household (or “consumer unit” in BLS speak) spent $2,504 on entertainment in 2010. That represents about 4% of the typical household’s pre-tax income.

As one might expect, the dollar amount expended on entertainment generally rises with income. Households earning $70,000 or more spent $4,438 on movies, music and other diversions last year, 3.7 times the average expenditure of those in the $15,000-$19,999 income slot. Yet, the latter group spent 6.8% of their total income on entertainment. The $70,000-plus households spent only 3.4%.

Total U.S. household spending fell 2% from the previous year. That followed a 2.8% decline from 2008 to 2009. Entertainment spending was the hardest hit of all major categories, falling 7% in the 2010 survey. The previous year saw a 5% drop in the category.

In the latest survey, health care (+1%) and transportation (+2%) were the only major components of spending to increase.

More Film

  • The Speech

    Charades Rolls Into EFM with Pre-Sales on 'The Rosemaker,' 'The Speech' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Charades, the sales firm launched three years ago by former execs at Wild Bunch, Gaumont and Studiocanal, will roll into the Berlinale’s European Film Market with a raft of pre-sales on anticipated French projects, including “The Rosemaker” with Catherine Frot and Laurent Tirard’s “The Speech.” Charades will unveil the promos of both films, as well [...]

  • Dexter Fletcher73rd British Academy Film Awards,

    'Rocketman' Filmmaker Dexter Fletcher to Direct 'The Saint' Reboot (EXCLUSIVE)

    After the success of its Elton John biopic “Rocketman,” Paramount has set filmmaker Dexter Fletcher to direct another high-profile project for the studio. Fletcher will helm “The Saint,” a reboot of its 1997 action thriller that starred Val Kilmer. The globe-trotting adventure is based on the 1920s novel series written by Leslie Charteris. Seth Grahame-Smith [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Jury Deliberations Begin in Harvey Weinstein Rape Trial

    Jury deliberations in the rape trial of Harvey Weinstein began Tuesday. After a six-week trial, a 12-member panel of New Yorkers will now decide if the former movie mogul goes free or spends the rest of his life behind bars. The case is considered to be a landmark moment for the #MeToo movement in Hollywood, [...]

  • Rory KennedyDiscovery 'Above and Beyond: NASA'S

    Boeing 737 Max Disaster Series in Works From Rory Kennedy, Imagine Documentaries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy is teaming with Imagine Entertainment for a new series about the tragedy and subsequent scandal over the defunct Boeing 737-Max airplane, sources tell Variety. Kennedy and her husband and producing partner, Emmy-nominated writer Mark Bailey, are teaming up with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s unscripted division at Imagine, run by Justin [...]

  • Otto Rehhagel, second from left, the

    Piece of Magic Takes Rights to Soccer Documentary 'King Otto'

    Piece of Magic Entertainment, the distributor behind recent docs “Apollo 11” and “Marianne and Leonard: Words of Love,” has picked up international theatrical distribution rights for the underdog sports tale “King Otto.” The doc follows the improbable path of the 2004 Greek National Soccer team, which went from never winning a single tournament match to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content