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Global box office to jump 33% to $37.7 billion by 2013: Pricewaterhouse Coopers

June 15, 2009 |  5:08 pm

Hollywood studios don't have much to crow about these days, but they can take some comfort in a new report on the state of their business by consulting giant Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

Pwc_black_logo In an annual survey that will be released Tuesday, the accounting giant projects that worldwide consumer spending in filmed entertainment -- a category that includes how much consumers spend at the box office, on home video rentals and purchases and on movie downloads -- will increase at a compound annual rate of 4% to $102 billion worldwide in 2013 from $83.9 billion in 2008.

That may fall short of the government's bailout of AIG, but it still seems like a lot of clams to us.

The biggest increases -- shouldn't be too surprising -- will occur in Asia Pacific and Latin America markets, which will grow annually at 5.7% and 4.5%, respectively. North America will grow by a more modest annual rate of 3.4%, the study estimates.

Driving the growth will be an upswing in spending at the box office, which is estimated to grow from to $37.7 billion from $28.3 billion in the next five years, fueled mainly by a growing number of 3-D releases that generate higher prices and ticket sales than do standard 2-D films. Although the credit crunch has delayed the rollout of digital screens, there are nearly 50 movies set for release in 3-D in the next two years, the report notes.

Additionally, the authors predict that the much-publicized falloff in DVD sales -- which studios have relied on for years to prop up the movie business -- will be offset by a boost from the sale of Blu-ray high-definition videos. Still, home video's share of entertainment spending is shrinking in North America and is projected to fall to 53% by 2013 from 61% in 2008. During the same period, the combined share for video-on-demand, online subscription rentals and digital downloads will double to 20%, a clear sign of long-term shifts in how consumers buy entertainment.

Said Deborah K. Bothun, one of the report's authors: "As the younger generation spends more time online, studios are going to have to be more agile in how they distribute content."

-- Richard Verrier