Box Office Blues: First Post-Pandemic Setback Sees 2024 Trailing 2023 in Global Revenue Forecast.

Summary

London-based box office analytics company Gower Street predicts that global cinema ticket sales will reach an estimated $31.5 billion in 2023, a 5% decrease from the previous year. The decline is attributed to historic labor strikes in Hollywood and the pause in production, which could cost the industry up to $2 billion in lost revenue. The decline is attributed to the strikes taking away half of the production schedule, rather than customer indifference in attending movies. Gower Street expects 2025 to be a positive year at the global box office, with a notable increase of 20–22% expected in North America. Despite annual advances, Gower Street projects that worldwide sales in 2023 will fall by 25% from 2019 and that global revenue will still trail behind 2019 by 21% to 22%.

Box Office Blues: First Post-Pandemic Downturn Sees Global Revenue Forecast for 2024 Trailing 2023.

Box Office Blues: First Post-Pandemic Setback Sees 2024 Trailing 2023 in Global Revenue Forecast.

Box Office Blues: First Post-Pandemic Setback Sees 2024 Trailing 2023 in Global Revenue Forecast.
AFP/GETTY IMAGES/LOIC VENANCE

Prominent London-based box office analytics company Gower Street ascribes the decline to the historic labor strikes in Hollywood and the ensuing pause in production.

Perhaps the first year-over-year decline in worldwide box office sales will occur in the post-pandemic period in 2019.

Leading analytics company Gower Street predicts that global cinema ticket sales will reach an estimated $31.5 billion in 2023, a 5% decrease from an anticipated $33.4 billion in 2023. Gower Street is located in London. This is in contrast to $25.9 billion in 2022, $21.3 billion in 2021, or $42.3 billion in 2019 prior to the arrival of COVID-19.

The international film business should not be surprised by Gower Street’s study, which was released on Tuesday. A number of films were postponed from 2024 to 2025 as a result of Hollywood’s historic labor strikes, which some estimate might cost the industry up to $2 billion in lost revenue.

“The recent strikes by writers and actors have had a significant impact on the release calendar for Hollywood products with global appeal,” stated Rob Mitchell, director of theatrical analytics at Gower Street. That is the main cause of the modest slowdown in the pace of recovery that we are witnessing in 2024, which appears to delay any possibility of a return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025.

Gower Street explains the decline as a result of the strikes taking away half of the production schedule rather than customer indifference in attending to the movies. Barbeinheimer alone helped us reach pre-pandemic level this summer. Mitchell stated, “We know that there is a robust audience demand for compelling theatrical releases, as July 2023 marked a record-breaking month at the global box office.”

“Based on productions currently on our radar, we expect 2025 to be a very good year at the global box office and hopefully a positive trend-setter for the second half of this decade,” continues Dimitrios Mitsinikos, CEO of Gower Street.

The global moviegoing public’s habits are still readjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite annual advances, Gower Street projects that worldwide sales in 2023 would fall by 25% from 2019 and that global revenue in 2024 will still trail behind 2019 by 21% to 22%. The good news is that revenue in 2023 will surpass that of 2022 by 29%, with a notable increase of 20–22% expected in North America.

Box office receipts in North America in 2024 are expected to reach $8 billion, a whole 11% less than in 2023, according to Gower Street. And compared to the average for 2017–2019, that would indicate a 30% drop.

With local productions helping, it is projected that the global box office for 2024 (excluding China) would come in 7 percent behind 2023 at an estimated $15.6 billion. But this still behind the average for 2017–2019 by 21%.

In 2024, box office receipts in China are predicted to rise by a meager five percent year over year as the world’s most populous nation chooses regional entertainment over Hollywood productions. Compared to a predicted $7.6 billion in 2023, revenue is likely to reach $7.9 billion the following year.

According to Gower Street chief analyst Thomas Berane, “the limited release calendar caused by the Hollywood strike is a bit less impacted on the international market, compared to domestic.”

The final figures for 2023 will be released by Gower Street during the first week of January.

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