Worldwide movie ticket sales climbed 6 percent to $34.7 billion last year, helped by a 36 percent rise in China.
That country's $2.7 billion in box-office revenue makes it the world's largest international market, after the United States and Canada, where sales rose 6 percent to a record $10.8 billion last year. Japan was the largest international market in previous years.
The statistics were released Thursday by the Motion Picture Association of America, the Washington-based trade group.
Ticket revenue in Europe, the Middle East and Africa fell 1 percent to $10.7 billion, due to declines in France, Italy and Spain.
U.S. and Canadian theater attendance increased 6 percent to 1.36 billion tickets, although that remains below the past decade's high of 1.52 billion in 2003. The average movie ticket price was little changed at $7.96.
Revenue from 3-D films was unchanged at $1.8 billion, although the number of such films released fell 20 percent to 36.
The total number of films released rose 11 percent to 677, led by a 17 percent increase in independent pictures to 549. Movies released by the major Hollywood studios fell 9 percent to 128.
The number of cinema screens increased 5 percent worldwide, the result of double-digit percentage growth in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, the association said. (Christopher Palmeri, Bloomberg News)
More 'The Joe We Know'
If you missed the showings of "The Joe We Know" a week ago in Oakmont, you will have another chance to see the tribute to Joe Paterno as part of a larger event in Canton, Ohio.
Penn State alumni chapters in Akron-Canton and Cleveland are organizing a screening of the documentary, intended as a belated birthday present and keepsake for the coach who died before he could see it.
It will be at 8:30 p.m. May 4 and cap a 5:30 p.m. reception and 6:30 p.m. dinner, all at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
Cost of $75 covers reception (cash bar) and dinner and will include a ticket to the Hall of Fame, 2121 George Halas Drive NW in Canton, good for any time that day starting at 9 a.m.
John Cramer, a 1979 Penn State graduate whose wife and daughter are also alumni, is helping to organize the event. Email him at email@example.com for tickets or information.
Organizers also plan a silent auction and still are working out details for the day, which will include a contribution to a Paterno-friendly organization. In Pittsburgh, that was the Sue and Joe Paterno Libraries Support Endowment.
Former defensive back Dan Leri, who helped to launch "The Joe We Know" project in 2011, said the Hall of Fame screening is the next confirmed one. It's possible other showings could be scheduled in Sharon and Erie, but nothing is definite and, in response to reader questions, there are no plans for a DVD in the near future.
"The Joe We Know," not intended as an answer to the Jerry Sandusky scandal but a thank you or love letter to the coach, features 70 lettermen from five decades talking about what impact the "grand experiment" had on their lives and family members. (Barbara Vancheri, Post-Gazette)
• "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" is officially scheduled to open Thursday, but you can see it as early as 7 p.m. Wednesday in some theaters. TheWrap.com suggested recently that, for potential blockbusters, 9 p.m. is the new midnight at the box office, and "G.I. Joe" will be available even sooner than that.
Studios are approving shows earlier and earlier, which bolsters the bottom line or buzz. It may also allow moviegoers to feel safer after the Colorado shooting during a 12:01 a.m. preview of "The Dark Knight Rises."
• Silk Screen Asian Arts and Cultural Organization will hold a fundraiser for its film festival Saturday with the Cranberry Township Municipal Center and Sister Cities Association.
Four instructors will present Zumba fitness, a world music inspired cardio-dance workout, from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at the township municipal center, 2525 Rochester Road, Suite 400, in Cranberry.
Cost, $10 each. See www.silkscreenfestival.org/calendar for details or tickets, also at door, if available.
• The new Stevie Nicks documentary, "In Your Dreams," will screen exclusively at the SouthSide Works Cinema at 7 p.m. April 2. Tickets, $10, will be available at the box office or online at www.clevelandcinemas.com. For more information or to see the preview, www.inyourdreamsmovie.com.
• The Pittsburgh Area Theatre Organ Society will host Clark Wilson accompanying the silent film comedy classic "The Kid Brother" at 2 p.m. May 4 at Keystone Oaks High School, 1000 Kelton Ave., Dormont.
Tickets at the door, $20. In advance, $15. For tickets or details: theatreorgans.com/patos.moviesvideo