MPAA chairman and chief executive officer Dan Glickman hailed a 'bullish' 2006 box office that generated a record $25.84bn in worldwide ticket sales and an above-par $9.49bn domestic haul, and predicted bigger things to come in 2007.

Speaking to reporters during a conference call ahead of next week's annual ShoWest industry convention in Las Vegas, Glickman revealed global box office climbed 11% from 2005's $23.27bn tally.

International box office climbed 14.4% from $14.28bn in 2005 to $16.33bn for the biggest amount in recent memory. Glickman cited Russia, South Korea, France, Germany and Brazil as key growth areas but MPAA officers did not have breakdowns of individual territory grosses or marketing costs. Glickman noted that 'for films to make money they have to have some appeal outside the US'.

On the domestic front, 2006's $9.49bn aggregated revenue represented a 5.5% rise against the $8.99bn tally in 2005 but still fell short of 2004's modern-day record of $9.54bn.

Average theatrical costs remained fairly flat and climbed 0.6% to $100.3m from the previous year's $99.7m. The 2006 figure break down into $65.8m for production costs and $34.5m for marketing compared to 2005's $63.6m negative costs and $36.1m for marketing.

In the specialty division world, 2006 costs climbed 22.7% from $38.7m ($15.2m marketing, $23.5m production) to 2006's $47.5m ($17.2m marketing, $30.3m production). All figures encompass expenditure incurred by MPAA affiliates only and do not include expenditure incurred by non-MPAA members on co-productions.

Theatre admissions climbed 3.3% from 1.4billion to 1.45billion, ending a three-year downward trend, however the figure still ranks as the third lowest result seven years into the new millennium. Filmgoers on average visited the cinema 7.6 times in the year, with African Americans overtaking Hispanics in the ethnic breakdown on nine admissions compared to 7.8 in 2005. Hispanics, often cited as a vast but untapped demographic, fell from 9.8 to eight, while Caucasians
climbed from seven to 7.1.

The average ticket price climbed 2.2% from $6.41 in 2005 to $6.55 in 2006, which in percentage terms was less than the Consumer Price Index differential, which climbed 3.2% year-on-year.

The number of releases in 2006 climbed 11% to 607 from 2005's 549. Of these, 599 were new releases and eight were re-releases, while 204 were MPAA titles and 403 came from non-affiliates.

Pirates Of The Caribbean 2 was last year's biggest earner on $423.3m and was the only title to cross $400m, a feat unmatched in 2005. Five films finished in the $200m-$399m bracket compared to eight in 2005, while the number of releases that made it into the $100m-$199m bracket remained even on 12, and 45 compared to 36 releases finished in the $50m-$99m range. Of the top 20 films of 2006, 85% comprised PG and PG-13 releases.

Advertising expenditure on the internet jumped from 2.6% to 3.7% for MPAA members. Average advertising costs for each film amounted to $30.71m in all media compared to $32.35 in 2005. Network TV accounted for 21.2% of expenditure compared to previous year's 23.1%; 'other media' (radio, cable, magazines, etc) grew from 22.4% to 24.4%, while 'other non-media' (exhibitor services, market research, promotions and publicity, etc) rose from 22% to 21.6%.

'At first glance 2007 seems to be a very positive year,' Glickman said. 'Harry Potter, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Spider-Man, Shrek and Rush Hour all have sequels coming out. The last time we had so many sequels was in 2002, which was a pretty big box office year. Given the sequels plus the more traditional releases my judgment is that 2007 will be bigger than 2006.'

In terms of the ultimate film watching experience, research supplied by Nielsen Entertainment/NRG indicated that overall people watched 63% of their films in cinemas and 37% on home entertainment platforms, compared to 69%-31% in 2005.

The cinema-going experience is highest among males under 25 (78% compared to 22% of films watch at home) and lowest among females aged over 25 (55%-45%). Pollsters contacted 622 people in February.

MPAA officers did not provide figures illustrating how much money in potential revenue was still being lost to piracy. When asked, officers said they were evaluating the latest set of figures.