Spending on ads in movie theaters jumps 13% in 2010

In a bellwether of a recovering economy, advertisers are spending more money at the movies.

Cinema advertising — the dollars that advertisers spent to sell their products in theaters — rose nearly 13% to $658.3 million in 2010, from $584.1 million in 2009, according to a report released Monday by the Cinema Advertising Council, a trade group that represents movie ad sellers.

Sales rose across the board, with jumps in local, regional and national advertising sales.

It marks the eighth consecutive year that advertising spending in theaters has increased, the council said, and reflects an improved economic climate that has spurred advertisers to spend more money. For example, on-location film shoots for commercials in Los Angeles soared last year.


“2010 saw a significant increase in the number of major marketers and their agency buyers and planners who have come to understand firsthand the value of the cinema audience,” Cliff Marks, president of the Cinema Advertising Council, said in a statement. “More and more, brands are planning cinema as an integral part of their media mix in order to reach younger demographics.”

The group said several categories of advertisers spent more last year, including confection and snacks, electronics, insurance and toys and games.

Cinema advertising mainly reflects spending on ads that appear onscreen before movie previews but also includes advertising in theater lobbies.