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Hispanic Moviegoing Looks to Keep Booming in the U.S.

Hispanic moviegoers are bigger fans of the movies than other cultures in the United States, according to a panel of experts at Sunday’s Produced By conference at the Warner Bros. lot.

“We are a growth business and Hispanics have a lot to do with it,” asserted John Fithian (pictured above), president of the National Association of Theater Owners, during an hour-long panel on “How the Hispanic Audience Can Make All the Difference.”

The speakers urged the 100 attendees to be mindful of the growing impact of Hispanics, who are on pace to reach 30% of the U.S. population by 2050.

Univision’s Peter Filaci presented statistics such as Hispanics contributing 19% of US. box office revenue while representing 17.5% of the population; the 18-49 demographic will see an increase of 5 million Hispanic consumers by 2024, far larger than any other demographic; and that Hispanics are more likely than non-Hipanics to see a movie on its opening weekend by margin of 47% to 37%.

Fithian said Hispanic customers spend 30% more on concessions than the average customer and are the most supportive demographic of luxury theaters and alcoholic beverage service. He also noted that Hispanics represent the highest demographic among frequent moviegoers; a recent report from the MPAA showed that Hispanics amounted to about 25% of those attending the movies at least once a month.

“Hispanics embrace moviegoing much more than other cultures in the US,” said Nielsen exec Ray Ydoyaga. “They believe it’s important to stay in tune with what’s new and they believe it’s important to make a habit of going to the movies.”

Roberto Orci, a Mexico native who’s collaborated with Alex Kurtzman on multiple projects such as “Transformers,” “Star Trek” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” noted that Hispanics have become far more tech-savvy than generally recognized. “A lot of us don’t even use landlines any more,” he added.

Orci’s also producing the upcoming TV series “Matador” for the El Rey Network, aimed at the Hispanic audience and starring Gabriel Luna as a soccer player and CIA mole.

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