Asian-Americans were the biggest moviegoers in 2016 compared to any other ethnic group in the country in terms of per capita ticket buying, according to the National Association of Theater Owners’ Theatrical Market Statistics Report.
In their annual study, the exhibition lobbying firm found that Asian-Americans went to the movies 6.1 times on average, followed by Americans of Hispanic descent who went 4.6 times.
Meanwhile, African-American moviegoers accounted for an average of 4.6 times. As for Caucasians, they frequented movie theaters 3.2 times.
In 2015, Hispanic-Americans had the largest per capita attendance with 5.2 average visits, followed by Asians, who were also the largest moviegoer group in 2014, with 5.2 visits on average, according to The Wrap.
From 2015 to 2016, the number of Caucasians who showed up at the box office decreased by 0.2 visits per year, while Hispanics went to the movies 0.6 times less than the year before.
Asian-Americans and African-Americans increased per capita attendance compared to 2015.
Variety noted that while Asian characters were portrayed in blockbusters, such as “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “The Magnificent Seven,” the film industry has a habit of “whitewashing” which has sparked outrage.
“Ghost in the Shell” and “Doctor Strange,” for instance, both cast white actors to play characters that had originally been Asian.
In an unrelated USC study, it was revealed that out of the top-grossing films in 2015, white actors played 73.7% of speaking or named characters.
Researchers found that only 12.2% of speaking or named characters were black, while Latinos made up 5.3%, and Asians accounted for 3.9%.
The Motion Picture Association of America also released their own annual report, which showed a worldwide increase of 0.5% in ticket sales from 2015, with a record $38.6 billion in 2016.
China, the world’s second-largest market after the U.S., dropped 1% last year with $6.6 billion in ticket sales, according to the Variety.
“Even with an incredible variety of viewing choices available to audiences, cinema remains the premier way to experience the magic of our movies,” MPAA chief Chris Dodd told the Minnesota paper. “And the good news is, there are positive signs for growth in the future.”