Business: Film Exports

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The virtual control of foreign markets by U. S. cinema producers is bearing rich fruit in constantly increasing exports of U. S.-made films.

In 1923, domestic films sent abroad measured 138,656,880 linear feet and were worth $5,417,745. Last year, similar exports were valued at $6,181,917 and totaled 170,347,342 feet. It is expected that 1925 will establish new high records for domestic footage exported. The money values here included represent only the cost of the actual positive prints shipped and not the income they produced from rentals. Total value of our foreign export business in films for this year is estimated at $75,000,000. Today, the foreign business of the large U. S. producers constitutes about one-third of their total sales volume.

Feature films made here have been remarkably successful abroad. The cost of the Covered Wagon—about $800,000— has just about been covered by foreign sales; altogether it has grossed $5,000,000. Similar success has attended the Sea Hawk, which cost $700,000, and will gross about $3,000,000, and the Lost World, which also cost about $700,000. The Ten Commandments cost $1,800,000 to make—more than double the cost of any previous film. Despite early predictions of a staggering loss on this picture, it is now believed that foreign sales alone will more than cover its cost.

U. S. films are said to be the most valuable advertising for U. S. goods that exist, particularly in South America. Makers of clothing in this country are said to be profiting heavily by the demand for their goods created by U. S. motion pictures exhibiting in South America and the Orient.

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