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Global Box Office Forecast to Hit $29B in 2023, but Remain Well Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

The global movie box office continues its slow but steady climb from the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the year nearly over, box office research firm Gower Street forecasts worldwide movie theater receipts to hit $25.8 billion by 2022 (according to Gower Street calculations, total box office gross as of 10 December was $23.6 billion), an increase of 21% over last year. thanks to the success of Top Gun: Maverick Y Black Panther: Wakanda Foreveramong other titles, in bringing fans back to theaters.

By 2023, Gower Street forecasts another double-digit rise and expects the total worldwide box office to reach around $29 billion, or 12 per cent more than this year.

The results are still well below the high point seen before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down theaters around the world. In the last year before the pandemic, 2019, the global box office hit an all-time high of $42.3 billion. At current exchange rates, Gower Street’s forecast for 2023 is still 27 per cent below the average of the last three years leading up to the 2017-2019 pandemic.

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The recovery has been held back, says Gower Street, by China, whose strict no-COVID policy has meant theaters have been closed longer in the world’s second-biggest theater market, and by Russia, whose invasion of Ukraine in February led to a general boycott. of the territory by American studies. The box office in China this year is set to land close to $3bn below 2021 levels, Gower Street says, and the combination of the Russia boycott and volatile exchange rates have meant a further $1bn drop. million in US dollar terms.

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The launch of James Cameron Avatar: The Path of Water across the globe this weekend should provide a welcome shot in the arm for global receipts. The sequel to Cameron’s record-breaking 2009 hit kicked off its international release to strong reverence in China and, according to regional box office consultancy Artisan Gateway, is forecast to gross between $119 million and $128 million (RMB 830 million to RMB 890 million). ). on its first weekend.

The North American market is forecast to rise 12 percent in 2023 to $8.6 billion from $7.65 billion this year, but will be 25 percent below the three-year pre-pandemic average. The Asia Pacific market excluding China and the Latin American territories are expected to gain between 11 and 12 percent in 2022, 20 percent below the pre-pandemic average. Gower Street forecasts the Chinese box office to hit $5.6bn by 2023, up from $4.4bn this year, but still well below the $7.3bn earned in 2021. The Europe, Middle East and Africa will grow more slowly, adding just 7 percent in 2022 to finish 30 percent below the pre-pandemic average. Russia will be the biggest obstacle to recovery in Europe, according to the report.

The group predicts that the film industry will have to wait until at least 2024 before the global box office returns to pre-pandemic levels.


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