I read an interesting article today regarding the UK. According to a report by the British Film Institute, in 2013 animated films were the highest grossing and most popular type of film in Britain. In fact, animation accounted for a whopping 21.4% of the box office sales! I must say this is a wonderful thing for the world of animation, as we learn the true power of the art, as well as its popularity.
The same must be said for emerging markets. Lately we've seen the animation industry reaching out into many foreign markets (china being one of the largest emerging markets). Dreamworks recently released renderings of a $2.4 Billion complex to be opened in Shanghai called "Oriental Dreamworks." Originally intended to be a live-action animation feature complex, they have recently expanded their strategy to animated TV and web content, due to the rising popularity of the art form in China. Recently a lot of production has been moving to the UK and other European countries such as France (the home of Illumination Entertainment, known for "Despicable Me"), and Canada (Sony Animation has been methodically moving all of their operations to British Columbia to take advantage of tax incentives.)
This emergence in the global economy is heartening and exciting for the entire industry. It does remind me that I must be very open to travel in the future for some of the more exciting projects. I must say, while it is exciting for animation to have such success abroad, the global industry has been driving jobs away from the US. While I am willing and excited to travel, I do hope to make my home base in the US (and hopefully LA), though it is daunting as much of the work has been moving abroad (mostly due to tax incentives.)
What the future holds will be interesting, exciting and perhaps a bit scary. Still, the effects of animated films around the world is certainly heartening.