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Box office in the U.S. - statistics & facts

As of November 2021, all the top 20 most commercially successful movies worldwide were at least partially – but most of the time, completely – made in the United States. Films such as "Avatar" (2009), "Avengers: Endgame" (2019), and "Titanic" (1997) grossed billions of dollars across the globe after selling millions of tickets in one of the most competitive markets on the planet: the U.S. Although, in 2020, China surpassed the U.S. and Canada in terms of box office revenue, the two North American countries form a solid second place, amassing as much as Japan, France, and Germany altogether. Before the coronavirus outbreak, the box office revenue in the U.S. and Canada consistently stood above 11 billion U.S. dollars annually throughout the second half of the past decade. But the decline of over 80 percent between 2019 and 2020 showed that the pandemic would be a gamechanger for American movie theaters.

The post-COVID-19 scenario

As nationwide vaccination efforts continued and authorities eased mobility restrictions, consumer spending on movie theaters in the U.S. escalated. During a single week in July 2021, for instance, expenditures grew by over 99 thousand percent compared to the same period in 2020. Still, competing with subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) services after months of isolation may be particularly hard. A mid-2021 survey showed that seven in ten consumers under the age of 35 were willing to pay at least 10 dollars to stream a new movie on the same day it is released in theaters in the U.S. This amount of money is above the average ticket price at movie theaters in the U.S. and Canada – 9.16 dollars in 2020. But the convenience of streaming exempts the user from spending on gas, parking, food, and beverages.

Time to munch a bigger bite?

Refreshments may be an extra cost for clients, but for cinema circuits, they might be a side hustle turning into a core business. In November 2021, AMC – the leading movie theater chain in the U.S. – announced it would sell its popcorn both through delivery services and at physical stores detached from theaters in the following year. The initiative aims at transporting part of the moviegoing experience to different contexts of consumers’ lives – maybe even when they are streaming films at home. In 2020, around 29 percent of AMC Theatres' revenue came from selling food and beverages. The figure added up to 362.4 million dollars. This is more than Snyders Lance and all private labels across the country collectively amassed by selling single-serve microwave popcorn in the U.S. that same year.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 32 most important statistics relating to "Box office in the U.S.".


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