The Motion Picture Association of America announced a record box office of $9.63bn for the calendar year 2007 in the domestic marketplace. Additionally it cited international box office of $17.09bn for a global revenue tally of $26.72bn that represented a 4.7% increase from 2006.

MPAA president Daniel Glickman presided over a press conference call yesterday detailing industry statistics with particular emphasis on member company activity. 'I think it's fair to say that the overall picture confirms the growing interest in film,' he said.

The number of tickets sold in the United States and Canada flickered upward by 0.3% to an estimated 1.4 billonwhile neither Glickman nor other association reps felt confident in assessing international sales.

He stated that while downward fluctuation in the worth of the American dollar may have swallowed up a portion of the 9% boost of member companies in the international marketplace, it was not the entire picture.

It was also announced that the MPAA had signed on with Nielsen EDI to collect box office data in an effort to have more comprehensive information going forward.

As a result domestic data now officially incorporates Canadian box office. Queries regarding the relative value of that currency on both admissions and box office could not be answered and though it was stated adjustments had been made to reflect Canada; historic box office data in the report was unaltered.

The average cost to produce and market movies produced by the Hollywood majors rose 6% to $106.6 million while MPAA designated affiliates (including New Line and Fox Searchlight) saw those comparable expenses balloon by 54% to $74.8 million.

However, it was stressed that the amounts cited only reflect direct costs to member companies and do not include outside investment such as that of Relativity Media or promotional and advertising partnerships from the likes of McDonalds.

'It's a fair question to ask what the difference is between member costs and total costs,' said Glickman. 'We've talked about a more comprehensive way of looking at this area and hope to be able to present it (in future).'

The overall presentation came off as anecdotal rather than specific. The scattergun approach incorporated such facts as a rise in Internet advertising, a correlation between theatre attendance and home theatre systems, a consistent number of theatrical releases from 2006 and a rise in on-line activity to garner film information. Curiously the issue of piracy was absent from both the report and discussion.

Questions regarding audience composition and demographics were either directed to the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) or put on hold until the release of an MPAA study later in the year. When asked for a brief synopsis of the latter, no one present was able to reply.