February 8, 2023


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‘Top Gun: Maverick’ rises 64% in 2022 as top UK box office title

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In 2022, the box office gross across the UK and Ireland was £978. 5 million ($1.17 billion), for a 2021 total of £597 million ($719.8 million), a 64% increase, according to ComScore Movies’ year-over-year review.

Before the pandemic, the region’s annual box office gross exceeded £1.3 billion in each of the five years up to and including 2019. The review expects full recovery by 2024

A total of 911 new titles were released in theaters in 2022, up from 503 in 2021 and back to a peak of around 938 in 2019. However, there remains a significant decline in blockbuster releases due to production delays, the review notes. 2019 saw 186 ‘saturation’ releases i.e. films opened in more than 250 cinemas, falling to 135 in 2022. As each saturation release averaged £6.4 million in 2022 and £6.9 million in 2019, the review estimates that the level of return for 2019 saturation releases could add £325–£350 million to the annual box office total.

Final enrollment figures for 2022 are not yet available but are likely to exceed 80 million to 125 million in 2021, the review said.

Of the five countries comprising the UK and Ireland region, the Republic of Ireland made the strongest recovery in 2022 with box office up 89% over 2021 a year earlier subject to the strongest winter COVID-19 restrictions, including 50% capacity caps and 8pm curfews. Northern Ireland box office grew by 73% year-on-year, Scotland by 68%, Wales by 63% and England by 61%.

While Paramount’s Tom Cruise vehicle “Top Gun: Maverick” was the top earner in 2022 with £83.6 million, Disney had the most titles in the top 10, led by “Avatar: The Way of Water” in second place with a running total of £51.4 million. Top 10 films account for 43.8% of total revenue in 2022.

Across 18 new releases and 40 holdovers prior to 2022, that’s £221.8 million for Disney (22.7% of the total market), just above Universal’s £219.3 million (22.4%). Warner Bros. and Paramount were third and fourth with 16% and 15.5% share respectively, and Sony was fifth with 12% share. In all, 136 different distributors have released films this year. Films from the top 10 distributors accounted for 93.6% compared to 2021’s 95.7%.

UK Cinema Association chief executive Phil Clapp said: “While challenges remain, 2022 represents a significant step towards recovery for our members after the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. Audience response to a wide range of titles, support from distribution partners and a strong slate for 2023 and beyond means we can all look to the future with renewed confidence.”

Film Distributors Association chief executive Andy Leyshon added: “The 2022 box office results were another strong marker for the sector’s recovery, and with an impressive and diverse release slate lined up for movies throughout the year, 2023 should continue this upward trend. . Distributors and exhibitors will continue to work together to deliver the best out-of-home experience to moviegoers and we are now on track to regain the territory box office heights witnessed before the pandemic.”

Top 10 UK & Ireland Movies in 2022:

1. “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount): £83.6 million
2. “Avatar: The Way of Water” (Disney): £51.4 million – still on release
3. “Minions: The Rise of Gru” (Universal): £46.9 million
4. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” (Disney): £42 million
5. “The Batman” (Warner Bros): £40.7 million
6. “Thor: Love and Thunder” (Disney): £37.4 million
7. “Jurassic World: Dominion” (Universal): £35.1 million
8. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Disney): £33.6 million – still in release
9. “Sing 2” (Universal): £32.9 million
10. “Elvis” (Warner Bros): £27.6 million

Top 10 British/Irish Movies in UK & Ireland in 2022:

1. “Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical” (Sony): £22.7 million – still in release
2. “Belfast” (Universal): £15.6 million
3. “Downton Abbey: A New Era” (Universal): £15.1 million
4. “The Banshees of Inishreen” (Disney): £9.1 million – still in release
5. “At First Sight – NT Live” [Theater] (National Theatre): £5.4 million
6. “Operation Mincemeat” (Warner Bros): £5.3 million
7. “The Duke” (Warner Bros): £5.2 million
8. “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris” (Universal): £4.9 million
9. “See How They Run” (Disney): £4.8 million
10. “Living” (Lionsgate): £3.6 million – still on release

Both charts data from January 7, 2022 to January 5, 2023.

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