2002 was the year the US majors clawed back market share at the international box office after the previous 12 months which had seen homegrown hits enjoy an unprecedented period of glory in their local markets.

Record-breaking audiences were seduced by the second instalments in the Harry Potter (Chamber Of Secrets) and Lord Of The Rings (The Two Towers) series, the first in the arachnid franchise (Spider-Man) and the most globally successful James Bond film of all time (Die Another Day).

Admissions continued to grow and the UK/Ireland market overtook Germany and Japan to become the second biggest international territory by admissions, after France. Elsewhere, Mexico overtook Spain on the admissions front, but because of currency values, Spain remains well ahead at the box office.

In terms of receipts, Japan and the UK/Ireland again lead the pack, helped partly by the world's most expensive ticket prices. (See charts below)

Indeed, international film-making is booming and international audiences are now firmly in the habit of supporting local films. Over the next two weeks, Screen International's weekly edition surveys the 14 biggest international territories, looking in particular at local films in their home territories.

This week, the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Italy and Mexico. Next week: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, China and South Korea.


Japan: $1.7bn
UK/Ire: $1.3bn
Germany: $1bn
France: $1bn
Spain: $666.2m
Italy: $564.6m
South Korea: $530m
Australia: $499.9m
Mexico: $483m
Sweden: $128m
Hong Kong: $111.6m
China: $108m
Norway: $96m
Denmark: $85.8m


France: 185.1m
UK/Ire: 176m
Germany: 163.9m
Japan: 160.8m
Mexico: 154m
Spain: 134.7m
South Korea: 107m
Australia: 92.5m
Italy: 83.2m
Sweden: 15.6m
Denmark: 12.9m
Norway: 12m