Pandemic-Affected Global Theatrical Movies Drops 72% To $12.2 Billion

Global movie-theater revenue in 2020 dropped 72% from $42.5 billion in 2019 to $12.2 billion in 2020, according to Comscore.

China became the largest theatrical market in 2020 -- replacing the U.S., the longtime leader -- with a 25.4% market share to the U.S.’ 18.4% share. The U.S. continues to have many theater closings of cinemas in limited operations.

China had the strongest post-lockdown recovery -- after a six-month closing of theaters starting in January 2020. Overall, it fell 66% to $3.1 billion ($9.2 billion in 2019).

The U.S. theatrical box-office went lower 80% to $2.25 billion ($11.4 billion in 2019).

Sony Pictures Entertainment's “Bad Boys for Life” -- due to an early-year theatrical release before the pandemic took hold -- took in the best results globally and in the U.S. -- $425.6 million and $206.3 million, respectively -- according to IMDd’s Box Office Mojo.



The best-performing new movie in U.S. theaters since the pandemic started in mid-March was WarnerMedia’s “Tenet” -- at $57.9 million. The biggest movie globally in this period was WarnerMedia’s “Wonder Woman 1984” with a $132.1 million haul.

Theatrical releases were cut in half in 2020 versus 2019 -- from 911 to 455. The average U.S. theatrical opening weekend fell to $4.6 million in 2020 versus $12.4 million in 2019.

Separately, some titles, such as "Wonder Woman 1984" and "Tenet," also moved to streaming platforms.

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