Hollywood films selling overseas better than ever

The six major US film studios each exceeded one billion dollars in revenue for their overseas operations in 2008, according to a media report. Hollywood productions in all topped a new record, with 9.9 billion dollars in overseas profits last year.


AFP - Major Hollywood studios defied the global economic meltdown to rake in record overseas profits in 2008 at about 9.9 billion dollars, a four-percent increase from 9.5 billion in 2007, according to media reports published Friday.

Citing preliminary distributor estimates, the Hollywood Reporter said the six major Hollywood studios -- 20th Century Fox, Disney, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Warner Brothers -- each exceeded one billion dollars in revenue for their overseas operations in 2008 for the second consecutive year.

Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" (Paramount Pictures International) topped foreign revenue with 469.5 million dollars abroad, compared to 317 million dollars for US distribution.

Batman movie "The Dark Knight" bagged 465 million dollars overseas for Warner Brothers International.

Paramount broke the 2-billion-dollar overseas box office threshold for the first time, garnering 2.037 billion dollars, up 28.2 percent from 2007.

The North American box office market was relatively stable, with 9.59 billion dollars in revenue, down slightly from the record 9.66 billion dollars in 2007, according to online industry specialist

But due to an increase in movie ticket prices, the numbers conceal reduced attendance in movie theaters: 1.35 billion seats were sold in 2008, down from 1.4 billion the previous year.

The last North American silver screen record was in 2002, when 1.57 billion tickets were sold.

The top three films in 2008 for North America were the Batman sequel (530 million dollars), "Iron Man" (318.3 million dollars) and the Indiana Jones sequel (317 million dollars).

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning