Foreign Box Office Funds Hollywood Production, Dodd Says

Rising international ticket sales will help fund more movie production as the global audience for entertainment expands, said Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America.

China’s recent decision to allow increased distribution foreign films is one example of how the global box office is increasing revenue for the U.S. film industry, Dodd said today at the CinemaCon trade show in Las Vegas.

Hollywood films are generating twice as much ticket revenue outside the domestic market -- the U.S. and Canada. Last year, international sales rose 7 percent to $22.4 billion, helped by a 35 percent jump in China. Domestic sales dropped 4 percent to $10.2 billion, according to MPAA figures.

“Those international ticket sales will fund more production around the world, which means more and better movies,” Dodd, a former Democratic Senator, said in prepared remarks.

In February, China expanded the annual quota of foreign films to 34 from 20. The additional 14 slots will be devoted to pictures formatted for large-screen or 3-D presentation. The share of ticket sales collected by foreign producers was expanded to 25 percent from 13 percent.

The Washington-based MPAA represents the six largest U.S. movie studios, including News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox, Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros., Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures, Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures and Sony Corp.’s Sony Pictures Entertainment.

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