Home video and box office ticket sales may be down in the U.S., but IHS Screen Digest believes total spending on movies will grow nonstop for the next four years.
IHS counted the purchase and rental of Blu-ray and DVDs, streaming subscriptions, video on-demand services and box office ticket sales in its tally. The expected annual growth — from $64.2 billion this year to nearly $69 billion in 2015 — has emerging economies to thank, explained Richard Cooper, senior analyst for video, IHS.
“The expansion in global movie spending is being driven almost entirely by consumers in the growing economies of Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe,” said Cooper. “This is occurring despite the fact that the three regions combined accounted for only about one-third of total global movie spending in 2011.”
Ironically, many countries within those regions have been dubbed hotbeds for piracy — Mexico, Russia and India to name three. But IHS believes that the more developed those areas become, the less likely it is for citizens to pirate.
Cooper noted that foreign theaters in particular will reap the benefits, with customers who’d rather see a new film on the big screen than download a low-quality version flocking to the box office. China’s presence in particular will grow by leaps and bounds. According to the research group, the country saw eight new screens opened each day last year. That trend will likely continue, with China and other emerging economies expected to contribute $6 billion of a total $10 billion in increased box office ticket sales between 2011 and 2015.
Online and disc-based sales, however, will stagnate in developed markets, Cooper explained. Consumers are tightening their belts when it comes to DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, but renting is still a popular alternative.