Moviegoing up in the US, worldwide

05:00 AM, Mar 21, 2013

Hot buttered popcorn in the snack bar Moonlite Theater Abingdon, Virginia. Michael Madrid, USA TODAY/


Written By by Scott Bowles, USA TODAY

More than two-thirds of Americans went to the movies last year, and nearly half caught at least one 3-D movie, the Motion Picture Association of America says.

In its annual report released Thursday afternoon, the MPAA says that moviegoing worldwide is on the uptick: sales are up 6% in North America and worldwide.

The MPAA credited much of the upswing to theater construction worldwide, which has helped foreign markets account for more than two-thirds of most movies’ overall box office haul, the report says.

Among the MPAA findings:

  • U.S. and Canadian box office hit a record $10.8 billion in 2012, up 6% over the previous year. Attendance also surged 6%
  • About 68% of the North American population, or 225 million people, went to the movies at least once in 2012.
  • Roughly 48% of moviegoers saw at least one film in 3-D last year, about the same percentage as in 2011.
  • Global box office hit a record $34.7 billion, up 6% over the previous year.
  • Among other nations, China is seeing the fastest growth at the multiplex. According to the report, Chinese box office grew by 36% last year to $2.7 billion, putting it ahead of Japan and Latin America.

    While analysts expected the surge, one nugget surprised observers: Illinois is the most avid film state in the country.

    According to the MPAA, about 74% of Illinois residents saw a movie last year, followed by California (73%), Texas (72%) and Indiana (71%).