The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) today announced the summer 2011 box office domestically reached a new record of $4.4 billion. Summer admissions were up an estimated 1.0% over summer 2010 to 546 million. 2011 also marked the fifth consecutive summer in which box office revenues exceeded $4 billion. (Summer is defined as running from the first full weekend in May through Labor Day of each year.)
NATO president and CEO John Fithian stated, “In the midst of 9% unemployment and a continuing weak economy, it is striking that the movie theater industry can continue to grow revenues and admissions. Along with our distribution partners, movie theaters offer compelling entertainment in state-of-the-art facilities at reasonable prices. In a weak economy or strong, the movie theater remains the first and most affordable choice in out-of-home entertainment.”
Both box office and admissions have rebounded strongly since the difficult Q1 comparison with 2010. Second quarter box office outstripped the same quarter in 2010 by 4.4%. Admissions were ahead by 2%. The -21% first quarter gap has been nearly erased, with year-to-date box office behind 2010 by only 4.3% and a likely very strong fall and holiday period ahead.