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Film industry in the United States and Canada – statistics & facts

The United States and Canada – collectively known as the North American movie market – are home to one of the most influential film-producing industries worldwide. In terms of box office gross, the region maintained a solid second place in 2021, surpassed only by China and still far ahead of other economies across Asia and Europe like Japan and the United Kingdom. China was also the absolute global leader in the number of movie tickets sold that year, with the U.S. and Canada ranking second once again, but this time closely followed by India. By another metric, however, North American cinema remains at the top of the game. As of mid-2022, all of the most expensive film productions in history were either made by or in collaboration with studios in the U.S. This includes the most recent iterations of successful franchises such as Pirates of the Caribbean, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars.

Moviemaking in North America: quantity and qualities

The number of movies released in the U.S. and Canada still has a long way to go to catch up with its pre-pandemic standards. In 2021, theaters across the two countries premiered 403 titles, less than half of the 873 feature films launched in 2018. A look into cumulative figures throughout the past few decades indicates patterns within the industry. Over one-third of the 15.84 thousand movies released in the North American market between 1995 and 2022 were dramas. Comedies and documentaries followed, each genre accounting for around 15 percent of the feature film releases in that period. Meanwhile, most of the box office revenue came from PG-13-rated productions. Altogether, films that, according to the Motion Picture Association (MPA), contain "[s]ome material [that] may be inappropriate for children under 13" grossed over 117 billion U.S. dollars domestically during those 27 years.

Diversity on and off screen

Over the past decade, observers noticed that American cinema has increasingly diversified its workforce. For instance, the share of non-white lead actors in Hollywood movies rose almost fourfold, standing at nearly 39 percent in 2021. According to the sources, the percentage remains below the average for the U.S. population. A similar, relative evolution occurred in terms of the gender distribution of film directors. Women accounted for around four percent of the film direction credits in 2011; 10 years later, they made up almost 22 percent of the people sitting on the classic and classy lightweight chair. The demographics of those creating the stories for cinema are also changing. About one-third of movie writers in the U.S. in 2021 were not white; a decade earlier, the share stood below eight percent.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 47 most important statistics relating to "Movie industry in the U.S. & Canada".

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