The global cinema box office continues its slow but steady rise from the COVID pandemic.
As the year draws to a close, Gower Street analysts forecast global theater revenues to reach $25.8 billion by 2022 (Gower Street’s calculations put total revenue at $23.6 billion as of December 10), an increase of 21 percent compared to last year. thanks to the success of Top gun: Maverick and Black Panther: Wakanda Foreveramong other titles, to lure fans back to the cinemas.
For 2023, Gower Street forecasts another double-digit increase and expects the total global box office to reach about $29 billion, or 12 percent more than this year.
The results are still well below the highs seen before the COVID-19 pandemic closed theaters worldwide. In the last pre-pandemic year, 2019, the global box office reached an all-time high of $42.3 billion. At current exchange rates, Gower Street’s forecast for 2023 is still 27 percent behind the average of the last three pre-pandemic years of 2017-2019.
The recovery has been slowed, says Gower Street, by China — whose strict no-COVID policy has resulted in theaters being closed longer in the world’s second-largest theater market — and by Russia, whose invasion of Ukraine in February led to a general boycott of the territory by the US studios. China’s box office will be nearly $3 billion lower this year than in 2021, Gower Street says, and the combination of the Russian boycott and volatile exchange rates has led to a further $1 billion drop in US dollars.
James Cameron’s release Avatar: The way of the water worldwide this weekend should be a welcome shot in the arm for global receipts. The sequel to Cameron’s record-breaking 2009 hit kicked off its international rollout with a strong bow in China, which is expected to gross $119 million – $128 million (RMB 830 million – RMB 890 million) according to regional box office Artisan Gateway. during the opening weekend.
The North American market is expected to rise 12 percent in 2023 to $8.6 billion from $7.65 billion this year, but to be 25 percent below the three-year pre-pandemic average. The Asia-Pacific market, excluding China, and the Latin American territories are both expected to gain 11-12 percent over 2022, which will be about 20 percent below the pre-pandemic average. Gower Street predicts China’s box office will reach $5.6 billion in 2023, up from $4.4 billion this year but still well below the $7.3 billion earned in 2021. The Europe region, the Middle East and Africa is expected to grow the slowest, growing just 7 percent from 2022 to finish 30 percent behind the pre-pandemic average. Russia will be the biggest drag on Europe’s recovery, the report said.
The group predicts that the film industry will have to wait at least until 2024 for the global box office to return to pre-pandemic levels.