Number of moviegoers in Japan 2010-2019

In 2019, Japanese theaters recorded approximately 194.9 million visitors, up from around 169.2 million moviegoers in the previous year. The annual box office gross revenue increased accordingly.

The changing popularity of movie theaters in Japan

Movie theaters in Japan enjoyed their highest popularity in the 1950s, which is also regarded as the golden age of Japanese cinema. Back then, the most successful years saw more than one million annual visitors. The number of visitors decreased considerably when television became widely affordable in the early 1960s. After a low point in the 1990s, with just about 120 thousand visitors in 1996, the number of moviegoers increased again to almost 195 thousand in 2019, which was the highest figure recorded since 1971. Movies such as the Makoto Shinkai anime hits Your Name, released in 2016, and Weathering With You, released in 2019, were especially popular among young people and played a significant role in increasing theater admissions.

Movie theaters in comparison with other forms of entertainment

A survey on the most popular video content media conducted in November 2019 showed that about 42 percent of people in Japan watched movies in cinemas, making cinemas one of the more popular forms of video consumption. A comparison with the most popular video content media among subscription video on demand (SVoD) users showed that SVoD users were more likely to visit cinemas than the average population. Commentators point out that cinemas constitute an opportunity for people to meet and socialize in a time of increasing single households, while interactions on social media have come to play a significant role in creating hypes around movie releases.

Number of cinema admissions in Japan from 2010 to 2019

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Release date

January 2020



Survey time period

2010 to 2019

Supplementary notes

Values have been rounded.

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