Revenue figures recorded by theaters and production houses have started coming out since the beginning of this year. Demand has increased here and there is less or the same in the third market. But most of the releases, as the numbers attest, are positive and important, and are prompting those who in the past thought cinema was dying to change their position.
The reality is that neither legal nor illegal sites have affected cinema revenue in major markets. It benefited from the pandemic and intimidation campaigns that prevailed three years ago, and it has expanded, become active, and fruitful. But the film industry is one of those well-established industries that, once a competitor emerges, rallies around it and benefits from it. In one aspect of cinema's history, it went through various crises (the economic depression of the thirties, the world wars, the invention of television and video, and then platforms), and each time unfulfilled prophecies suggested that cinema was dying. .
This topic has a special language for numbers. Language that does not tolerate debate. If it is reported that screenings in France last year (2023) saw a clear increase compared to the previous year (2022), this is solid evidence that the crisis is passing under the bridge and not burying it.
What happened in France is that the number of tickets sold last year increased by 19 percent over the previous year. The number of tickets sold rose to 181 million and 200 thousand tickets. Converting this number to dollars gives one billion and 400 million dollars.
Therefore, France is currently leading the revenue of films shown in European countries (such as Germany, Spain and Italy). This is despite the fact that the indicated percentage is still lower than that recorded in the years prior to 2019 when the epidemic spread.
In Germany, turnout is still 17 percent lower than before. In Spain, 24 percent. In Italy it is 21.8 percent.
America and the World
One of the markets affected even more than what happened in 2020 was the Korean market, which, along with the Chinese and Japanese, was an important part of the region and was considered the fifth largest market in the world.
The reported numbers indicate that demand for cinema (despite an increase in ticket buyers in the last month of last year) did not exceed $964 million for the entire year. That's 44 percent less than 2019's theatrical demand in Korea (the South, of course). This is an 11 percent increase in the number of tickets sold last year in 2022.
We must note that American cinema plays an important role in the commercial situation recorded in all the mentioned markets and at all levels. American cinema leads or, in some markets, ranks second in the highest grosses recorded by local markets worldwide.
American movies are more successful and profitable than other cinemas. This situation existed long before and during “Corona” and till today.
It draws attention to the fact that for the first time since 2015, Disney has lost its leadership as the most successful production and distribution company worldwide. The announced statistics regarding the 2023 results for American cinema indicate that Universal was the company that generated the US cinema revenue last year with 4 billion and 907 million dollars.
The first studio
The films that helped Universal achieve this success were “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” “M3GAN,” and “Oppenheimer.” The latter (which has grossed $950 million so far) differs from the other two films in that it is not purely based on commercial principles. It is not created from the imaginations of comics (such as “The Super Mario Bros. Movie”) or a frightening situation like the murderous childhood movie in “M3GAN”, but rather the biography of a man who has become gradually popular in recent times. Several generations until director Christopher Nolan brought him back to the lead.
Disney isn't far behind, however. Last year, it released 17 films (compared to 24 for Universal) and grossed between $4 billion and $800 million. Among his most successful films were “Indiana Jones and the Tablet of Destiny” and the children's adventure film “The Little Mermaid”. According to the informative magazine “Variety”, this is the first time, in many years, that a film produced by it did not earn the most of the successful “super” films. They are respectively:
• “Barbie” (Warner), which alone recorded one billion and 400 thousand dollars.
• The Super Mario Bros. Movie (Universal): $1.3 billion.
• “Oppenheimer” (Universal), which raised $950 million.
Reviewing yesterday's numbers, it is clear here that for the first time since 2014, “Disney” lost more than a billion dollars in revenue from one of its films, like the three mentioned.
Another fact that helped Warner to some extent was that last year's “Barbie” movie topped the US box office. It ranked third on the list with total revenue of 3 billion and 840 million dollars. In fourth place are “Sony” ($2 billion and 94 million) and “Paramount” ($2 billion and 26 million).
Returning to France, due to the importance of its market and its European exports, a large share of the recovery and recorded revenues is due to two almost identical factors: French films and American films. Of course, films from every country and genre are spread across hundreds of independent theaters (sometimes huge ones), but the main and biggest audience attraction is split between the Hollywood import and the local producer.
In the US context, the number of American films shown in the French market last year increased to 81, compared to 68 the previous year. According to the National Film Council (CNC), this number is still lower than what was recorded in pre-pandemic years. An average of 127 American films are released per year.
In 2023, the percentage of tickets for American films reached 41.3 percent. The percentage of tickets for French films was 39.8 percent, including films in which France participated in financing (regardless of the level of that financing).
Top ten markets
It should be noted that the past few years have prevented many markets from progressing to levels other than those previously occupied. For example, the German market still ranks eighth among global markets, and the Australian market ranks ninth. In recent years it has rocked all cinema markets from the US to France, and from France to China, Korea and the rest of the world. Therefore; It's safe to say that the countries mentioned in the following list of the top 10 most successful markets by revenue are much closer than they were until 2020.
The Russian market was in ninth place until that date, but the Ukrainian war and its economic conditions limited the distribution of Western films, while there is no data to determine the degree of success of home-made films.
When adding the Arab markets to that context, the Saudi market is currently leading, followed by the UAE market. No new numbers were reported by audiences or companies in either country, but Lebanese distributors, who handle most imports of American films to Gulf markets, agree.
Before 2020, during 2020 and even today, other Arab markets are at the ends of the international ladder.
5 films should be successful in 2024
Hollywood will rely on about 15 films showing in the New Year to attract the blockbuster success these productions promise. Following are the most important images that guarantee success:
1- Hill part two
The second (and perhaps best) part of the legendary saga (Warner).
2- Gladiator Part 2
It may make up for the loss of Ridley Scott in “Napoleon” (Paramount).
3- Mufasa: The Lion King
Animation based on the character “The Lion King” (Disney).
The film's potential for a new civil war in America (A2A)
5- Deadpool 3
The third (if it will be the last) of Fantasia directed by Ryan Reynolds (Disney).
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