While theater attendance in North America was down and ticket sales were flat in North America in 2010, elsewhere the box office soared to record heights, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) said in a report on Wednesday. In its annual Theatrical Market Statistics Report for 2010, the MPAA said that the international box office increased by 13 percent with the largest growth in the Asia-Pacific region, pushed by China, which accounted for 40 percent of the growth in that region. Nevertheless, the report observed, "China remains a highly restrictive market for foreign film distribution." Responding to critics who increasingly complain that higher ticket prices are driving away moviegoers, John Fithian, president and CEO of The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), said in the MPAA report "Theater owners continue to offer their patrons the lowest-priced form of out-of-home entertainment, with the average movie ticket -- including premium-priced tickets -- costing less than it did in 1970, adjusted for inflation."