Global cinema box office revenue weighed in at $26 billion in 2022, a healthy 27% improvement over 2021, but still far from pre-pandemic levels.
In its final estimate for the full year to December 31, 2022, research firm Gower Street Analytics has calculated that the worldwide gross box office taking will reach $25.9 billion. This compares to $21.4 billion in 2021.
The 2022 figure is 35% below the 2017-19 average in the three years since Covid-19 upended the global film industry. Gower Street estimates that the 2022 number represents an annual loss of $14 billion in total revenue.
Being the top-grossing region in both 2020 and 2021, China relinquished the box office crown to the North American (aka ‘domestic’) market in 2022.
According to Comscore Movies, the North American market is expected to reach $7.5 billion in 2022. That is 65% higher than in 2021, but 35% behind the 2017-2019 average.
China is calculated to finish behind 2021 by around $4.33 billion or 36%. China’s 2022 figure was a full 49% below the country’s pre-pandemic three-year average. Other analysts reported that 2022 was the lowest annual total in China for 11 years.
The international market (excluding China and North America) is projected to close at $14.1 billion in 2022, representing a 55% gain over 2021 and a 29% deficit over the 2017-2019 average. All three key regions performed better than the North American or Chinese markets compared to the three-year average.
Europe, the Middle East and Africa delivered $7.1 billion, down 31% from the pre-pandemic average and up 52% from 2021.
Asia Pacific (excluding China) is calculated to deliver $5.2 billion in 2022, 26% behind the 2017-2019 average and 49% higher than in 2021. Japan was the star market in 2022, coming in just 9.4% behind the pre-pandemic average, with an estimated $1.5 billion.
Latin America delivered about $1.8 billion, about 30% below the three-year average, while showing the biggest gain through 2021, at 87%.
Russia was the weakest market tracked by the firm compared to pre-pandemic business levels. Russia’s revenues fell 43% from 2021 to 57% below pre-pandemic levels.
Excluding India (where GowerStreet and ComScore do not have complete tracking), the top 15 international markets in 2022 are estimated to be: China ($4.3 billion), Japan ($1.5 billion), UK and Ireland ($1.2 billion), France ($1.1 billion), South Korea ($0.9 billion), Germany ($0.8 billion), Australia ($0.64 billion), Mexico ($0.63 billion), Spain ($0.4 billion), Brazil ($0.35 billion), Italy ($0.33 billion), Russia ($0.31 billion), Netherlands ( $0.27 billion), Saudi Arabia ($0.25 billion) and the United Arab Emirates ($0.16 billion).
Percentages compared to 2022 and pre-pandemic years compared to 2021 were compared using like-for-like local currency numbers, converted to current exchange rates for greater accuracy.