What movies lack in ticket sales they make up for in statistics, at least that’s the takeaway from the annual Theme Report from the MPAA, which is packed with stats about movies, movie theaters, and moviegoers from 2017.
Last year, audiences identifying as Hispanic/Latino reported the highest per-capita attendance at the movies, going to the movies an average of 4.5 times a year. Audiences identifying as Asians followed in a close second, with 4.3 times. Caucasians, who make up 61% of the U.S. population, bought 55% of the tickets. While Latinxs make up 18% of the population, they buy 23% of the movie tickets sold in the U.S. Outside the U.S., Latin America pulled in $3.4 billion in ticket sales, with a 22% growth in sales, the largest of any region in the world, thanks to a 15% surge in Brazil and a 7% growth in Mexico. Will Hollywood actually pay attention to these findings and start hiring more diverse casts in numbers that actually represent the makeup of audiences? Math doesn’t lie, so it seems like a given the industry would heed it, but it probably won’t.
The overall gender breakdown of moviegoers in 2017 was split 50-50 between men and women. That said, Beauty and the Beast and Wonder Woman were the second and third top-grossing films last year and attracted majority-female audiences at 64% and 52%, respectively. The top-grossing film was Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which earned 60% of its box office from men, but had a woman in the lead role and several others in prominent supporting roles. So, similar question here: Will Hollywood cast 50% of the lead roles in blockbusters with women? Probably not.
Movie admissions in the U.S. and Canada hit a 10-year low in 2017, falling 6% to 1.24 billion tickets sold. The global box office made up for it, though, hitting a record high of $40.6 billion in 2017, up 5% from 2016. Foreign moviegoers accounted for nearly three-quarters (73%) of the worldwide box office for all films last year, up from 71% the year before, largely attributed to Chinese movie lovers flocking to the cinema.
The report also found that the top grossing films, including Spider-Man: Homecoming and Wonder Woman drew the most ethnically diverse audiences. Will Hollywood take this lesson to heart? Sigh. Probably not.
Read the full report here.