For nearly nine months of 2022, movie-studio national TV spending is down 27% to $625.5 million from the pre-pandemic year of 2019, when it was $852.2 million, according to estimates from iSpot.tv.
The industry has only pulled in half as many impressions from those TV commercials as it did three years ago -- 49.7 billion (2022) versus 100.5 billion (2019). It was at 46.5 billion in 2021.
TV movie ad spending also tracks closely to the decline in box-office revenue since 2019 -- down 31.4% to $5.16 billion in 2022) versus $7.5 million in 2019, according to IMdb Box Office Mojo.
Universal Pictures has been the biggest spender in national TV advertising this year, at $178.7 million.
Paramount is next with $72 million, followed by Warner Bros. at $68 million. Disney's trio of studios (Marvel, Disney-Pixar and Walt Disney Pictures) collectively spent $62.8 million, while Columbia Pictures spent $50.9 million, MGM spent $38.6 million, and 20th Century Studios spent $32.8 million.
Looking at individual movies, Universal’s “Jurassic World Dominion” was the biggest spender at $42.3 million.
Next was Dreamworks Animation's “The Bad Guys” at $34.9 million, followed by Universal’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” with $32.1 million; Universal's “Ambulance” at $32.0 million; Disney-Pixar's “Lightyear” at $28.8 million; and Warner Bros.' “The Batman” with $26.8 million.
This year there were 162,299 airings of movie commercials, compared to 313,568 airings of movie commercials in 2019 and 146,511 in 2021.
The movie industry touts the growth of the business -- albeit slow: Box-office revenue is up 167% from $1.94 billion a year ago and 185% higher than in 2020, when it totaled $1.8 billion.