Despite a drop in domestic ticket sales, Hollywood had another record at the box office last year thanks to a surge in ticket sales in China and other Asian markets.
Global box office receipts for all films released around the world reached $36.4 billion in 2014, up 1% over the previous record in 2013, according to an annual report from the Motion Picture Assn. of America.
Growth continued to be fueled by a rapid expansion in the Asia Pacific region, which was up by 12% overall in 2014. Leading the way was China, which jumped 34% and became the first international market to exceed $4 billion in annual box office revenue.
China's entertainment business has been expanding rapidly and is now the largest foreign market for Hollywood films. The county generated $4.8 billion in ticket sales last year, according to the MPAA report.
The global growth helped to counter an otherwise bleak year in the domestic market. Ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada dropped 5% to $10.4 billion last year after a string of box office duds produced one of its worst summer seasons in years.
“In the past few years, more people than ever before around the world are going to their local cinemas to see movies made by filmmakers in the United States and all around the globe,” MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd said.
“This is not just an American story of success, but a worldwide story about the value of craft, creativity and the importance of a story well told. We tell stories that transcend borders and transform individual experiences into shared ones."