Data and analysis released by Omdia points to a continued recovery of the US cinema sector, with the Top 10 films in 2022 already matching the levels of 2017, though still off from the all-time high of 2019. However, for smaller films the difference is more stark and there remains a bigger gap to be bridged. This is attributed to the fact that certain customer segments have not returned to cinemas in significant numbers, despite the fact that blockbusters such as “Avatar: the Way of Water” and “Top Gun Maverick” have done a lot to attract seizable audiences, including many who had not visited the cinema since before the pandemic. Overall the number of non-returners is considered to be dwindling.
Lower film supply is a key driver of lower overall box office revenue, and importantly, pushing up film supply in 2023 and beyond is the key to returning to pre-COVID-19 levels of the box office.David Hancock, Chief Analyst, Media and Entertainment at OMDIA
Overall premium ticket pricing together with popularity and value perceived in heightened cinema experiences (whether IMAX or recliner-with-wine cinemas) have resulted in pre-title box office at the upper end of the Top 50 high and even approaching 2019 levels. Hollywood studios appear to have grasped this, as demonstrated by the broad slate of films shown at this year’s CinemaCon, coupled with the pronouncements that the day-and-date streaming strategy from the Hollywood majors is now firmly a (failed) thing of the past.
These findings are from David Hancock’s recent Content Tracker report (part of Cinema and Movies Intelligence from Omdia).