There is no business like show business. This adage proved to still hold true as movie/entertainment industry and their exchange traded fund (ETF) held onto decent results at the theaters.

Ticket sales in North American movie theaters totaled $9.6 billion, down 1% compared to the previous year, and attendance shrunk 5% to 1.3 billion, reports Brooks Barnes for The New York Times. Executives must also deal with diminishing DVD sales, a mainstay for profits, and labor disputes with the Screen Actors Guild.

Parent companies on the studio lots are demanding more thrifty studio operations and maybe even selling non-core units, specialty film divisions, to mitigate television, publishing, and consumer product woes.

Americans are becoming numbed to a stars’ prowess, but the ability of stars to open a movie remains powerful and quite lucrative in overseas markets.

Premium pricing has also beefed up the revenues entertainment industry’s are raking in. In 2008, studios found that audiences would pay up to $25 per ticket for 3-D movies and blockbuster screenings in Imax theaters.

A movie industry-related ETF that held up in the recession PowerShares Dynamic Leisure And Entertainment (PEJ) was down 47.8% in 2008, but it’s up 19.3% in the last month. Perhaps people are looking for a temporary escape from their troubles?

Dreamworks (DWA) is 3.3% of the fund; Walt Disney (DIS) is 5.5% and Marvel Entertainment (MVL) is 3.6%.

ETF PEJ performance

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.