A new report focusing on exhibition and distribution over the last five years has revealed some surprising contradictions in the make-up of the 18 cinema markets analysed across Asia, the Pacific Rim, Middle East and Africa.
The research, by media publication, Screen Digest, reports that while total cinema admissions for the 18 countries generated $3.8bn in 2000 - this was down in dollar terms on the previous year. However, for many countries, box office revenue was up, at least in their local currencies, suggesting that fluctuations in dollar exchange rates is distorting the true picture of global market growth.
The issue of ticket prices and average ticket price growth across the region also reveals some anomalies. Japan, for example, accounts for some 4% of admissions in the region as a whole, yet takes nearly 42% of all box office revenues. Similarly, low ticket prices in many territories, like the Philippines, means that several Asian countries have relatively high levels of admissions, without making much impact on the overall box office.
Screen Digest also records the screen growth in several Asian markets, driven by economic regeneration and multiplex development. The follow-on effect of increasing admissions, and ultimately increased investment in local production is also analysed, with South Korea being a recent example.
In addition to illustrating that Japan's 4% slice of the region's total admissions generates 42% of the box office, other apparently contradictory situations exist elsewhere. China accounts for 72% of screens across the entire region, but only 12.7% of the total admissions. Similarly, India accounts for 77.4% of all admissions across the 18 markets, but only 12.3% of the box office.