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Saturday, 05 March 2011 01:01

North American 3-D Movie Box Office Revenue Nearly Doubles in 2010

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Box office revenue generated by three dimensional (3-D) movies in North America nearly doubled in 2010, as more screens were upgraded to 3-D capability and studios delivered more 3-D motion pictures, new IHS Screen Digest research indicates.

North American 3-D movie theater revenue amounted to $2.2 billion in 2010, up 85 percent from $1.2 billion in 2009. The 3-D segment rose to account for 20.6 percent of total North American movie theater box office revenue in 2010, up from 11.0 percent in 2009.

The attached figure presents the IHS Screen Digest historical estimate of North American 3-D box office revenue.

“Almost 5,000 new 3-D screens were upgraded in North American cinemas in 2010, an annual record, for a total  3-D screen count in excess of 8,450, up from 3,548 in 2009,” said Charlotte Jones, senior analyst, cinema, for IHS. “Furthermore, 25 major feature films were released in 3-D in North American cinemas in 2010, an all-time high primed to rise further to around 40 major movie releases in 3-D for 2011. Of these 3-D movies in 2010, 18 ranked among the Top 100 films in terms of revenue generation for the year, and five of the 3-D titles made the Top 10.”

Twentieth Century Fox’s Avatar, although released in 2009, was the leading title in 3-D revenue for 2010, followed by Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3.

Along with the rising number of screens and titles, revenue for 3-D movies in 2010 was boosted by higher ticket prices relative to 2-D titles. 3-D tickets in North America during 2010 were priced in the region of $10.84, 40 percent higher than a standard 2-D movie ticket at $7.34.

The North American 3-D market was dominated by live-action titles in 3-D in 2010, whether natively produced or increasingly converted in post-production to 3-D. This marked a shift from 2009, when most 3-D titles were studio animated films. Animated features in 2010 accounted for only 43.8 percent of total 3-D revenues, equivalent to $952.0 million, down from the majority 63.6 percent share of 3-D box office in 2009.

The North American 3-D box office market has advanced quickly in recent years, rising from $7.8 million in 2005. Revenue will continue to rise in the coming years, with 3-D expected to account for 40 percent of North American box office revenue in 2015.

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