Market Watch

Global 3-D Box Office More Than Doubles in 2010 to $6.1 Billion


US is largest market, followed by Japan and UK; international receipts make up 64 percent
Global box-office revenue from 3-D movie screens hit $6.1 billion in 2010, more than double the $2.5 billion generated in 2009, according to a new IHS Screen Digest Cinema Intelligence report, from information and analysis provider IHS.

Of the global 3-D total last year, international territories accounted for $3.9 billion or 63.9 percent of the market, up from 53.8 percent in 2009. The rest of the 3-D movie market, or 36.1 percent, is represented by North America, including the United States and Canada. The United States was the world’s single biggest 3-D presence with $2.0 billion in box-office revenue, taking in the largest share at 32.8 percent, down from 42.3 percent in 2009. Overall, global 3-D screens represented 19.3 percent of world box-office receipts in 2010, up from 8.6 percent in 2009.

The surge in international 3-D box office revenue was almost threefold, up from just $1.4 billion in 2009, driven by a corresponding hike in investment of digital 3-D technology by key international exhibitors, in tandem with the influx in new 3-D movie releases. This run of exceptional growth in international markets has been instrumental in achieving a current worldwide total in excess of 30,000 3-D screens at June 2011, more than double the number at the same point last year; at least one in four of the world’s screens is now 3-D-capable.

But despite impressive 3-D screen growth internationally, the global market still is dominated by U.S. product, which accounted for more than 90 percent of revenues coming from international 3-D screens.

Notable International 3-D Markets
Within the international 3-D market, Japan recorded the largest volume from 3-D-only screens and was second-biggest overall after the U.S., with gross receipts reaching $471.0 million, IHS Screen Digest estimates indicate. The top 3-D titles in Japan included “Avatar,” “Alice in Wonderland” and  “Toy Story 3,” as well as local release “Umizaru 3: The Last Message,” which made the country’s Top 5 by year-end.

The United Kingdom was the strongest 3-D market in Europe and third largest overall, with $427.6 million. France was fourth globally with $364.7 million, followed by Russia at fifth with $336.5 million. Rounding out the 3-D Top 10 last year, in descending order, were China, Germany, Australia, Italy and Canada.

In Latin America, Brazil was the largest 3-D market, just ahead of Mexico. However, 3-D had higher penetration in two other territories—Colombia with 35.6 percent, also the world’s highest rate; and Argentina with 26.0 percent. In contrast, Norway had the lowest 3-D box-office ratio with 15.8 percent, followed closely by Turkey with 15.9 percent. For the United States, 3-D represented one-fifth of the total U.S. box office.

The highest premium markups for 3-D tickets in terms of percentage were to be found in China and Mexico, but Mexico had the lowest average ticket prices for 3-D films.

Of the 25 territories profiled in the report, Slovenia had the smallest 3-D market, valued in 2010 at $3.5 million.

Find Out More > IHS Screen Digest Cinema Intelligence