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N. American box office registers record summer yield

(Xinhua)

09:44, September 09, 2011

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- The North American box office has witnessed a record summer, with 4.4 billion U.S. dollars in ticket sales and a 1-percent increase in admissions over the same period last year, the National Association of Theater Owners said Wednesday.

The summer of 2011 also marked the fifth consecutive summer when box office revenues in the United States and Canada exceeded 4 billion dollars, according to the Washington-based group of large cinema chains and independent theater owners.

"In the midst of 9 percent unemployment and a continuing weak economy, it is striking that the movie theater industry can continue to grow revenues and admissions," the theater group's President and CEO John Fithian said.

Summer is defined as running from the first full weekend in May through Labor Day of each year.

As two of the most important benchmarks in terms of movie business, both box office and admissions have rebounded strongly since the difficult first quarter, when a huge 21 percent drop from the same period in 2010 was registered, the group said.

The second quarter box office this year outstripped the same period in 2010 by 4.4 percent, with admissions up by 2 percent.

"In a weak economy or strong, the movie theater remains the first and most affordable choice in out-of-home entertainment," Fithian said.

The National Association of Theater Owners, with more than 30,000 movie screens in all 50 U.S. states and additional cinemas in 50 countries worldwide, is the largest exhibition trade organization in the world.

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