Cinema: Room for 48,750,147

Plainly, the world was hungering for entertainment. Last week the Department of Commerce had figures to prove it: in 116 countries around the planet, the last two years had seen a sharp overall rise in movie theaters, from 78,974 to 90,097. Seating capacity had soared from 42,667,411 to 48,750,147.

Despite the barriers to its pictures abroad, Hollywood could take heart in another statistic: 72% of the feature films on the world's screens were U.S.-made. The U.S. share of showings dipped lowest (47%) in the Far East, where stiff competition was offered by British distributors and a revived Japanese film industry. It was...

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