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Happy days are here again says Pricewaterhouse Coopers

June 15, 2010 |  5:59 am

With all the bellyaching about falling DVD sales and the decline of traditional media, you'd think the bottom was falling out of film business. Hardly.

In fact, an annual survey by the accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers gives a sanguine view of the industry's outlook over the next five years. The report predicts that global consumer spending on movies -- in theaters and at home -- will grow at annual rate of 4.8 %, reaching $107.5 billion in 2014, from $85.1 billion in 2009. 

The Asia Pacific, led by China and India, will grow the fastest, increasing 7.2% annually, followed by a 5% annual rate in Latin America, 4.2% in Europe and 3.7% in North America, according to the report, which is scheduled to be released Tuesday.

Box-office revenue will climb due to the popularity of 3-D films, spurred by the success of hit movies such as "Avatar" and "Alice in Wonderland." Theater chains are rapidly converting more screens to show 3-D movies, which have helped boost attendance and ticket prices. Additionally, the sale of high-definition Blu-ray discs, shorter theatrical-release windows and low-price rentals offered by services such as Redbox will help "reinvigorate the physical home-video market," the study says.

According to the report, DVD sales in North America will decline in 2010 and then rebound to $15.6 billion in 2014, up 1.6% from 2009, but still will be 16% lower than their peak of $18.6 billion in 2006. And digital downloads of films will triple from $364 million in 2009 to $1.1 billion in 2014, a 25% annual growth rate.

-- Richard Verrier