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Movie Sales Shrink Abroad

January 05, 2006|R. Kinsey Lowe | Times Staff Writer

International box office revenue, long a source of comfort for Hollywood's major studios, declined last year at a greater rate than in the U.S.

The 6% downturn, to $7.93 billion, compares with a 5% dip at the domestic box office. But it comes on the heels of a record $8.5 billion in non-U.S. receipts in 2004, which studio executives said was a tough act to follow.

Last year "was our third-highest year," said Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, Warner Bros. president of international distribution. David Kornblum at Walt Disney Co.'s Buena Vista International similarly defended his company's and the industry's performance.

Total DVD sales and rentals, the other major stream of movie revenue, rose 7.5% to $22.8 billion, Digital Entertainment Group will report today.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday January 06, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 40 words Type of Material: Correction
Foreign box office -- An article in Thursday's Business section about international box office for Hollywood studios stated that Warner Bros. had its third-highest year for overseas box office in 2005. In fact, the studio posted its second-highest year internationally.

All told, that gave the major studios -- Warner Bros., Fox, Disney, Sony, MGM, Universal, Dreamworks and Paramount -- sales of $39.6 billion in 2005. That figure will rise when independent foreign film releases are factored in this spring.

The No. 1 film overseas was Warner Bros.' "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," which took in $531 million. Fox's release "Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith" followed with $468.2 million, and Paramount/DreamWorks' "War of the Worlds" was No. 3 with $362 million.

Warner led studios with $1.89 billion in foreign receipts, followed by Fox with $1.6 billion, and Disney at $1.3 billion.

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