Mobile apps have become an absolutely massive business in just a few years, and sometimes it can be difficult to truly grasp how fast the industry is growing. This little tidbit, courtesy of Asymco's Horace Dediu, is a great data point to help put it in perspective: In 2014, iOS app developers as a whole made more money than the movie industry did off of box office receipts. According to Apple's latest brag rag, the company paid out a whopping $10 billion to app developers last year which puts it a good deal above Hollywood's box office earnings for the same time period. Based on Apple's 30 percent "take" of each app sale, that puts App Store billings at about $14.3 billion.
It's important to note that box office intake doesn't accurately capture the entirely of the Hollywood economy, which extends to retail sales, streaming, licensing, and many other revenue-generating products and services. But as Dediu points out, Apple's payout is only a portion of the overall app economy as well, and when you add competing platforms, licensing for products, and other revenue to the top, apps are likely still bigger than the overall Hollywood picture.
[Image via Asymco]