|Image: Sony Pictures|
|Helping to make it a record year, 'Spider-Man' took in $400 million at the box office.
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Speaking at the ShoWest conference of U.S. movie theater owners here, Mr. Valenti also warned about the problem of rapidly increasing movie production costs. He said the $89.4 million it cost to produce the average movie in 2002 was an alarming 13.6% increase over the year before.
By comparison, 2002 film marketing costs virtually stayed unchanged with the previous year. The marketing cost for an average movie slipped 1.2% to $30.6 million.
"Not much you say?" he said, during his speech. "Perhaps, but it is down. When one talks about costs, down is better than up."
Sales up 13.2%
Most of the day's news about the movie business centered around its voluminous growth in 2002. The MPAA reported that overall business soared 13.2% to $9.5 billion. Even attendance climbed -- up 10.2% to 1.64 billion tickets -- the highest level since 1957.
Big movies such as Spider-Man, The Lord of the Rings movies, Harry Potter movies and My Big Fat Greek Wedding were cited as the engines of that growth.
In 2002, 26 films pulled in $100 million or more in U.S. revenues. Spider-Man was the industry leader, grabbing more than $400 million in U.S. box office receipts.
Ticket prices stable
Mr. Valenti said the industry did all this with hardly raising prices per ticket -- just 2.7% more than the year before. This, he said, compares well to the 2.4% rise in Consumer Price Index -- the national inflation rate.
The MPAA is an trade association of seven Hollywood studios.