Motion Picture and Video Industry Receipts Exceed $80 Billion, According to Census Bureau

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2015 — (PRNewswire) — The U.S. Census Bureau released data today from the 2012 Economic Census showing that receipts for the nation's motion picture and video industry ( NAICS 5121) – covering the entire process from production to projection − increased $1.2 billion (1.5 percent), from $79.8 billion in 2007 to $81.0 billion in 2012. These receipt totals include ticket and concession revenue.

The 1950s were known for sock hops, the birth of rock 'n' roll, and yes, drive-ins. According to data from the Census Bureau's Economic Census, the number of drive-in movie theaters peaked in 1958, with nearly 4,000 nationwide, and remained substantial into the 1970s before steadily declining to 216 in 2012.

The industry experienced an increase of 5.3 percent from 20,164 establishments in 2007 to 21,229 in 2012. However, annual payroll and employment both declined from $15.5 billion to $14.4 billion (or 7.1 percent) and from 308,740 to 280,962 (or 9.0 percent), respectively.

These results are part of the Economic Census Industry Series, which publishes national statistics for detailed industries as well as information on the product lines sold or services provided by businesses. These data are collected for establishments, which are typically single physical locations of a business that produce or distribute goods or perform services, and can be accessed via

At the Movies

Indoor movie theaters ( NAICS 512131) saw total receipts increase 6.4 percent, from $12.6 billion in 2007 to $13.4 billion in 2012. However, the number of indoor movie theaters declined 6.5 percent, from 4,879 to 4,561, and employment decreased 2.4 percent, from 132,656 to 129,533, during the same period. Annual payroll increased 4.0 percent to $1.4 billion.

While the number of drive-in theaters ( NAICS 512132) declined 15.0 percent between 2007 and 2012, total receipts dipped only 1.5 percent. In 2007, there were 254 drive-ins, with receipts of $96.0 million; in 2012, the respective totals were 216 and $94.6 million. Meanwhile, the number of employees decreased 6.3 percent, from 1,546 to 1,449, and their payrolls fell 8.8 percent, from $17.1 million to $15.6 million, in the same period. The Economic Census Geographic Area Series will provide statistics on the number of movie theaters and their employment levels for local areas in the upcoming months.

There were only 434 indoor movie theaters across the country — fewer than 10 percent — that had admission revenue from foreign films. Among such theaters, foreign films generated 16.8 percent of the admission revenue in 2012.

This data release also provides statistics on the production, postproduction and distribution aspects for the movie and video industry, as highlighted below:

Production Services

  • The number of motion picture and video production ( NAICS 512110) establishments rose 11.5 percent, from 12,192 in 2007 to 13,599 in 2012, as receipts increased 0.8 percent from $59.9 billion in 2007 to $60.4 billion in 2012. However, annual payroll fell 10.8 percent, from $12.0 billion to $10.7 billion, and employment fell 15.1 percent, from 142,620 to 121,137, during the same period.

Postproduction Services

  • Movie and video postproduction ( NAICS 51219) saw an increase in establishments, total receipts and annual payroll from 2007 to 2012. The number of establishments increased 7.2 percent, from 2,307 to 2,473. Total receipts went up 3.8 percent, from $5.2 billion to $5.4 billion, and annual payroll increased 13.3 percent, from $1.8 billion to $2.0 billion. However, employment decreased 3.3 percent, from 26,835 to 25,949, during the same period. Such establishments perform editing, film/tape transfers, titling and subtitling, and produce credits, closed captioning, computer-produced graphics, animation and special effects, and develop and process motion picture film.

Distribution (excluding movie rental establishments)   

  • There was a decline in motion picture and video distribution ( NAICS 512120) establishments, receipts, employment and payroll over the 2007 to 2012 period. The number of establishments decreased 28.6 percent, from 532 in 2007 to 380 in 2012. Total receipts decreased 18.1 percent, from $2.1 billion in 2007 to $1.7 billion in 2012. The respective declines for employment and annual payroll over the same period were 43.1 percent, from 5,083 to 2,894 employees, and 36.0 percent, from $377.0 million to $241.2 million.

About the Economic Census

The U.S. Census Bureau conducts an economic census every five years and provides a comprehensive and detailed profile of the U.S. economy, covering millions of businesses representing more than 1,000 industries and providing unique portraits of American industries and local communities.

Economic census statistics are being released over a two-year period. Statistics at the local level, including information for more than 5,000 communities not available from previous economic censuses, became available starting last month and will be released on a flow basis over the course of the remainder of 2015.  The subjects/summary series will be released through June of 2016.  About 40 billion cells of data on U.S. businesses with paid employees will be released in total. Separate statistics for 2012 on the approximately 21 million businesses without paid employees are available via

Reference information about the economic census, including a data release schedule, is available on the 2012 Economic Census home page.

The statistics presented in this release are based on data from the 2007 and 2012 economic censuses and include data only for establishments with paid employees. The 2012 Economic Census Industry Series results will be superseded in subsequent 2012 Economic Census data product releases. All dollar values are expressed in current dollars relative to each survey year, i.e., they are not adjusted for price changes. For more information about the economic census (including a data release schedule and information on comparability, confidentiality protection, sampling error, nonsampling error, and definitions), see

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Robert Bernstein
Public Information Office
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