The Australian box-office was far more resilient than North America’s last year, dipping by just 2.28% compared with a 5% drop in the world’s largest theatrical market.

With $1.074 billion in receipts, Australia retained its ranking as the ninth biggest territory internationally, ahead of Brazil, Italy and Spain, according to the Motion Picture Association of America’s annual survey released today.

The global B.O. edged up by 1% to a record $US36.4 billion, due solely to astronomical growth in China. Revenues in China jumped by 34% to $4.8 billion, compared with North America’s $10.4 billion. Some experts predict China will overtake the US/Canada by 2017 or 2018.

The MPAA stats show ticket sales in North America declined by 6% to 1.27 billion in 2014, the lowest in more than a decade, and there were drops in every age group under 40.

The international B.O. has spiked up by 24% in US dollars in the past five years, reaching $26 billion in 2014, accounting for 72% of the global total. 

The waning popularity of 3D films in Australia is mirrored in North America where 3D movies generated $1.4 billion, just 14% of the market, despite the release of a record 47 titles in that format.

The top 10 markets internationally in US dollars were: China $4.8 billion, Japan $2 billion, France $1.8 billion, the UK and India both with $1.7 billion, South Korea $1.6 billion, Germany $1.3 billion, Russia $1.2 billion, Australia $1 billion and Mexico $900 million.

The MPAA’s study unsurprisingly found frequent cinemagoers in North America are more likely that the general population to own devices such as smart phones (83%), tablets (68%), video game systems (60%) and streaming devices (58%).

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