2007 box office breaks a record, ticket sales flat

According to The Hollywood Reporter, 2007 had box office returns of $9.63 billion, citing data from the Motion Picture Association of America’s annual “state of the union” report. This new record represents a 5.4% increase over 2006, according to the article, but that’s failing to factor in the insane amount of inflation we had last year (thanks, Republicans). Inflation for consumers was around 4.1%, 6.3% for wholesale; all these numbers being in the same ballpark mean that it’s all just business as usual.

Taking the average US ticket price of $6.88 (a 5% increase over 2006’s $6.55) into account, “actual admissions in 2007 were flat. The year’s total of 1.4 billion admissions was just 0.3% above 2006’s 1.395 billion admissions. And neither year challenged the modern-day record of 1.6 billion admissions set in 2002,” when Spider-Man, The Two Towers and Attack of the Clones rocked the multiplex.

This average ticket price may be skewed by the rise of high-profile IMAX and 3D releases, a factor that will play even larger in the future. The recent Disney Digital 3D hit Hannah Montana: Best of Both Worlds concert movie had an average ticket price of $15, for instance, over twice the regular ticket price, while Beowulf pulled in $3.58 million of its opening weekend on the giant screen.

Variety‘s take on the report focuses on the 60% jump — to $74.9 million — in the average cost of producing and marketing for “specialty firms” (independents), with average spending on production. “Production costs spiked 60% over the previous year to $49.2 million, while the average cost of advertising increased 44% to $25.7 million.… By comparison, the average cost of producing a studio film last year was up 8% over 2006 to $70.8 million, while the average cost of advertising was up 4% to $35.9 million.”

This more attests to the blurring line between indie and studio productions than any real increase in costs, though; as the Variety article points out, “The rise in the specialty-division numbers reflect the fact that their films are more directly under the purview of the parent studio.”

Posted on March 6, 2008 at 12:50 by Gordon@MovieMakeout · Permalink
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