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After doubling from 2008 to 2012, the combined cinema box office revenue for the BRIC countries of Brazil, India, China and Russia is set to double again by the end of 2017, making their collective proceeds equal in size to North America, the world's largest movie theater market.
The BRIC box office total expanded dramatically in just five years, rising to $6.2 billion in 2012, up from $3.08 billion in 2008, according to a new IHS Screen Digest Cinema Intelligence Report from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS). By 2017, the box office value of the BRIC regions is projected to hit $12.1 billion-approximately equal to the IHS forecast for the North American box office that same year.
"The rapid growth of the BRIC cinema market is being driven by two principal factors: increasing ticket prices and new screen construction," said Charlotte Jones, principal analyst for cinema at IHS. "However, other variables are also helping spur the BRIC cinema markets, including the loosening of market regulations in China for 3-D and IMAX films, the popularity of premium films in Russia and the rise of shopping centers in Brazil. Driven by all these factors, the BRIC countries by the end of 2016 will account for one quarter of global cinema box office revenue, up from 18 percent in 2012."
The attached figure presents the IHS forecast of the BRIC countries' cinema box office revenue compared to the global total.
Impressive box office
To put the growth of the BRIC region in context, the territories recorded a combined average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.9 percent at the box office from 2008 to 2012. Such a rate is impressive when compared to other international markets that rose by just 5.5 percent, and is even more remarkable when viewed against the 2.2 percent CAGR of a mature region like North America. The future forecast for the BRIC box office also shows a CAGR of 14.4 percent through 2017, displaying only a minor slowdown from the previous period.
All four of the BRIC markets were in the Top 12 world rankings last year in both cinema admissions and box office revenue.
China led the way with more than $2.7 billion in 2012, and the country was also the No. 2 world market by size, behind the U.S. India was the next largest market, sixth overall in the world in 2012, while Russia climbed to the ninth position. Brazil, the only country in the Top 12 not to reach the $1 billion plateau, came in at No. 12. By 2017, both Russia and India will be among the Top 5 box office markets with a projected $2 billion in revenue, putting them ahead of the U.K. and France. Meanwhile, Brazil is forecast to be ranked No. 10 by 2017, ahead of Mexico and Italy.
Rated "D" for digital
At the end of 2012, more than 70 percent of the world's modern screens had been upgraded to digital cinema (d-cinema) technology. However, of the four territories comprising the BRIC region, only China is ahead of this penetration rate with more than 85 percent of screens upgraded in 2012. This higher rate was driven by new screen constructions, with 100 percent of all new screens based on the d-cinema standard. China now has more than 12,400 d-cinema screens in 2,926 sites.
Russia is second among BRIC countries in d-cinema with a total screen penetration reaching 58.3 percent in 2012, below the world average. The rollout in Russia has been driven almost entirely by 3-D, with a large 83 percent of the 2,100 d-cinema screens 3-D-enabled, compared to a global digital to 3-D screen ratio of just 50.8 percent for the full year of 2012.
The other two BRIC countries have a long way to go to reach the world average. Brazil ended 2012 with just 32.1 percent being converted to digital, and India's d-cinema penetration stood at only 10.2 percent (there are also 5,500 e-cinema screens).
Still, given such low penetration rates, the future growth path of these countries will open up a flood of activity for d-cinema equipment suppliers in the coming years.
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