Numbers can be objective, but by themselves, they only tell half of a story. The global box office revenue plummeted by about 72 percent between 2019 and 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak ceased the upward trend that had begun a decade earlier. The tumble was not quite the same everywhere, though. In the Americas, there was a decline of over 80 percent; in the rest of the world altogether, there was a decrease of less than 68 percent. Zooming in and looking at each country, contrasts intensify. India and Russia respectively ranked second and fourth by the number of movie tickets sold worldwide in 2020. The top five shifts, however, when it comes to the leading box office markets by revenue. China, the United States and Canada – both counted as a single economy in the film industry – Japan individually, and Western European countries dominate the latter ranking.
Expansion without Hollywood
Between 2019 and 2020, the box office revenue in China plunged by 68 percent, amounting to 20.4 billion yuan in the latter year. Still, the pandemic did not fully hinder the growth of the cinema market in that Asian country. At the end of 2020, there were around 11.9 thousand movie theaters spread across China. This is almost five percent more than in the previous year and nearly 500 percent more than in 2010. Furthermore, the continuous rise in the number of cinema sites takes place regardless of the ongoing issues in the Western Hemisphere. In 2020, all the top ten feature films by box office revenue in China were Chinese. In this apparently self-sufficient market, domestic productions may benefit from the increasing regulations on imported titles.
Lesser damages, quicker recovery
The setback caused by the coronavirus varied from region to region. Now, the time for a proper comeback is also likely to differ. It was forecast that, in 2023, cinema advertising expenditure in the Asia-Pacific region will add up to roughly 2.9 billion U.S. dollars, thus surpassing the amount recorded in 2019. The same is not true for the other two major global movie markets. By 2023, movie theater advertising in the U.S. and Canada is projected to amount to only three-fourths of the spending seen in 2019. Similarly, cinema ad spending in Western Europe was estimated to reach around 77 percent of the pre-pandemic value by 2023. For these two regions, a full recovery will depend on how relevant and safe movie theaters will be for the masses in the future.
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In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 46 most important statistics relating to "Box office worldwide".