The global entertainment market — consisting of theatrical and home entertainment — has surpassed $100 billion in revenues for the first time in history, with earnings reaching $101 billion in 2019, according to a new report released by the Motion Picture Association.
Worldwide box office receipts accounted for $42.5 billion of that haul, setting a new industry high in 2019. Overseas moviegoers fueled that record turnout as the international box office crossed a new milestone with $30 billion. But despite commercial hits like “Joker,” “The Lion King” and “Avengers: Endgame,” ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada slumped over 4% to $11.4 billion. However the overall surge is thanks mostly to streaming’s rise in popularity as digital home and mobile entertainment brought in $58.8 billion globally, a 14% boost from last year.
The MPA’s annual theme report is conducted by the entertainment industry trade group and is intended to analyze how the film, television and streaming content industry performed over the last 12 months. This year’s expanded study also includes data on mobile viewing habits of audiences in the U.S., including the frequency and time spent on portable devices to view film and TV content.
“The film, television, and streaming industry continues to transform at breakneck pace, and this report shows that audiences are the big winners,” said Charles Rivkin, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association. “Most importantly, our industry continues to innovate and deliver great storytelling for movie and TV fans — where, when, and how they want it.”
The report’s release comes at a time of high anxiety for the movie business. The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the closure of theaters in Japan, India, China and other regions hit hard by the disease and will lead to billions of dollars in lost revenues. In 2019, China ranked as the second-biggest moviegoing market after North America.
On Wednesday, the MPA study provided a look back to a more stable time for the industry. Though domestic ticket sales dropped, the organization found that more than 75% of the population, roughly 268 million people, went to the movies at least once in 2019, up slightly from the year prior.
And contrary to popular belief, streaming isn’t cannibalizing younger audiences’ appetite for going to the movies. In fact, per capita attendance was highest among patrons between the ages of 12 and 17 (4.9 tickets sold per person) and 18 to 24 years old (4.7 tickets sold per person). Hispanic audiences had the largest presence among ethnic groups, followed closely by Asian audiences. The typical moviegoer bought 4.6 tickets. Gender composition was split evenly among men and women.
The 2019 study covers a year that saw seismic changes in the entertainment industry. Disney formally merged with Fox, condensing the number of major Hollywood studios. Netflix also joined the Motion Picture Association, the first streaming service to do so.
That sector of the business made huge progress in 2019 as demand also grew for home mobile entertainment. In the U.S., it rose 8% year-over-year to $25.2 billion. The spike has been propelled mostly by the digital market, where the U.S. is up 18% and international markets are up 29%.
Netflix wasn’t the only streamer attracting eyeballs, and the number of subscriptions to online video services increased to 863.9 million globally and 237.2 million in the U.S., a 28% and 26% jump, respectively. More than 75% of adults watched movies and TV shows via online subscription services. Meanwhile, over 85% of children and more than 55% of adults watched entertainment content on mobile devices. Younger audiences, as well as Hispanic and African Americans, fueled the daily viewings on mobile devices.