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CROSSES MAINTAIN HIGH LEVEL OF WAR YEARS
JANUARY FEBRUARY MAPCU APRIL
AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER
1943 1944 1945 1946
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DURING the first eight months of 1946 grosses at motion picture threatres throughout the country maintained the rate of increase established during the war years.
Despite the hills and valleys in the graph shown above the trend is ever higher. The total revenue from admissions, estimated on the basis of Federal tax records, was $1,167,210,700 for 1942, $1,358,180,500 for 1943, $1,441,062,104 for 1944 and $1,602,838,000 for 1945. For the first eight months of the current year gross admissions for all theatres have amounted to $1,190,809,000.
If that rate of increase is maintained until the end of the year, the annual total will reach an estimated $1,750,000,000. Last week Standard & Poor's industry survey estimated that the 1946 over-all increase in industry revenues would be approximately 10 per cent above those of 1945.
As the above graph shows, gross receipts spurted from January's low of $131,109,000 to $151,600,000 collected in February. In the following months this level was maintained until June when the revenue dropped to $138,705,000 to meet the June figure of last year. However, despite the summer doldrums of the film industry, the gross receipts recovered and returned to more than $150,000,000 in July and August.
The chart shows the box office revenue since January, 1942, based on the admis
sion taxes collected from theatres by the United States Treasury Department.
Monday, the Treasury Department announced that September collections for August business amounted to $38,559,484 reaching an all-time high for any August recorded, and nearly $9,000,000 more than the same month of last year.
September collections on Broadway amounted to $5,050,561, the Third Internal Revenue District of New York announced at the same time. This is an increase of nearly $1,500,000 over September, 1945.
Audience Research, Inc., subsidiary of George Gallup's American Institute of Public Opinion, released a report Tuesday which said that 57,500,000 people in the United States attend motion picture theatres at least once every three weeks. The report did not give any average weekly attendance.
On the basis of the U. S. Treasury tax figures and using Audience Research's average admission price of 46 cents, the weekly attendance figure would be 73,160,000. Industry observers generally estimate the average admission price as considerably below 46 cents and using the lower figure the weekly attendance would be closer to 100,000,000.
The Audience Research report said the admission price had increased to its present level from 32^2 cents in 1940.
Metro Releasing 16mm Teaching Films in England
Distribution of educational programs in 16mm in Great Britain by Metro-GoldwynMayer, Ltd., of England was to begin Friday, November 1, it was announced this week by Morton A. Spring, first vice-president of Loew's International Corporation.
The program is under the direction of Sam Eckman, Jr., managing director and chairman of the board of MGM Pictures, Ltd., and Douglas Roberts, 16mm representative.
The first films, which will be released to schools, will be programs made up of features of cultural and educational content such as "Madame Curie," "David Copperfield" and "Treasure Island," it was further revealed by R. Haven Falconer, chief of the 16mm educational film division.
In addition to these programs, technical training and classroom films will be made available subject to the needs and requirements of British educational authorities.
Mr. Falconer said that the anticipated market in British schools and non-theatrical situations for feature films of cultural and social content is large. A similar market already has developed in South Africa with surprising rapidity. These schools and other non-theatrical situations are not competitive with regular commercial exhibition of either 35mm or 16 mm films. "
Mr. Falconer also said that sound tracks were being modified for shorts for release to British schools by the substitution of British narrators. For features released as part of the educational programs, as well as those for commercial exhibition, no modification is necessary.
Navy Lauds Universal For Newsreel Story
Universal Newsreel's Navy Day story has received special commendation from the U. S. Navy in a letter received by Thomas Mead, Universal Newsreel head, from Commodore E. M. Eller, director of the Navy Department's Office of Public Information. In his letter to Mr. Mead, Commodore Eller said : "Your excellent story on Navy Day, 1946, appearing in the current release of Universal Newsreel, inspires me to extend our thanks and appreciation. Your story was accurate, splendidly cut and edited, and reflects much credit on your staff."
Show Revivals Only
The showing of revivals exclusively is the new policy of the Metro, Strand and Midtown theatres in San Francisco. Two quality features, starting with "Beau Geste" and "Shepherd of the Hills" for the first week, is the new plan of Rex Stevenson, San Francisco manager for Golden State Theatres.
MOTION PICTURE HERALD, NOVEMBER 2, 1946