Global box office 2012 sales up 6 pct to $34.7 bln-trade group

LOS ANGELES, March 21 Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:33pm EDT

LOS ANGELES, March 21 (Reuters) - Hollywood had a strong year in 2012, both internationally and domestically, as global box office ticket sales rose 6 percent to $34.7 billion from 2011's total.

The foreign box office continued to be a strong driver for a second year in a row, with international ticket sales hitting $23.9 billion, up 6.7 percent from $22.4 billion in 2011, according to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

The 2012 increase in box office receipts was an improvement from the 3 percent gain in global sales in 2011, which had been hindered by a downturn at the North American box office, according to MPAA 's annual Theatrical Market Statistics report.

In 2012, the U.S./Canada box office commanded $10.8 billion, up 6 percent from the $10.2 billion recorded for 2011, which was a 4 percent decline from 2010.

Topping off 2012's biggest selling films in the North American markets were Walt Disney's "The Avengers, which pulled in $623.4 million at the domestic box office, followed by Warner Bros "The Dark Knight Rises," which raked in $448.1 million.

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