LONDON — Global movie ticket sales are expected to rise to $21.4 billion in 2003 from $17.8 billion in 1998--an increase of 20%--as more theaters are built and ticket prices climb, according to a report from Screen International magazine and Market Tracking International Ltd.
The number of screens worldwide will increase more than 5% to 144,771 by 2003, and the number of people buying tickets will grow about 10% to 12.8 billion, the report said.
"In most territories, the continuing move toward multiplex and megaplex cinemas will ensure that screen numbers continue to rise," it said. "However, in vast underdeveloped countries such as China and India, this process will only slowly occur, with the phasing out of old-style cinemas and their replacement with modern sites expected to take decades rather than years."
Meanwhile, Hollywood's efforts to tap into the success of independent films, which appeal to an aging population, could pose a difficulty for non-U.S.-based independent studios.
"On the one hand, it is possible that non-American films will benefit greatly from the distribution infrastructure available to these new labels," Adam Thomas, head of media research at Market Tracking, said in a statement.
"However, the bad news is that these [studio-owned] specialty labels are producing films of a similar style and theme to those traditionally associated with non-American independent films."
Screen International is a movie trade magazine and Market Tracking International is a London-based research company.