OTTAWA (CP) _ Statistics Canada says Canadians showed a growing interest in watching movies at theatres rather than at home in 2004-2005.
Figures from the film distribution and video wholesaling industry show revenues from distributions to theatres rose sharply, while revenues from sales of DVDs and videocassettes levelled off after surging since 2000.
Revenue from distribution to movie theatres grew 16.6 per cent to $446.3 million, while revenue from the wholesaling of DVDs and videocassettes remained unchanged at just over $1.8 billion.
At the same time, overall spending by the industry grew slightly after declining the year before and exports of Canadian films and videos expanded, but at a much lower rate than in the previous year. The agency says total industry revenues climbed to more than $3.5 billion in 2004-2005, up three per cent from the previous year.
That increase was less than the 4.8 per cent revenue gain the year before, but the profit margin improved to 22.7 per cent from 21.8 per cent in 2003-2004.
"Film and video distributors and video wholesalers reported total spending of more than $2.7 billion in 2004-2005, up two per cent from 2003-2004," Statistics Canada said.
The increase in expenses did not affect the bottom line as industry profits rose to $802.1 million. Licensing and royalty payments rose marginally.
"Of $847 million in total licensing fees and royalties paid, 17 per cent were for Canadian products, up from 11 per cent the previous year," the agency said.
The survey also found:
_Foreign sales of Canadian-content films and videos reached $331.9 million in 2004-2005, up 3.4 per cent from the previous year. The figure excludes productions distributed directly to foreign clients by producers.
_ Fifty-one per cent of the $3.5 billion in total revenue of film and video distributors came from the wholesaling of pre-recorded videos, especially DVDs.
_ DVDs, the favourite format in Canada, accounted for 77 per cent of the video wholesaling market, up from 71 per cent in 2003-2004.
_ In the pay-TV market, Canadian content accounted for 24 per cent of revenues.
_ At movie theatres, Canadian content maintained four per cent of the market, up from three per cent in 2002-2003.
_In the conventional TV market, Canadian content share fell to 16 per cent from 17 per cent in 2003-2004.