Afghan voice agency (AVA)_Research firm Comscore said in an end-of-year report on Tuesday that the North American box office brought in $2.2 billion in 2020, compared with $11.4 billion for 2019.
The 2020 revenue marked an almost 40-year low, according to ##historical_data from Box Office Mojo. The lowest previous take for North American box office receipts was 1981, with a total of $918 million, in a year when “Superman II” was the biggest film.
Comscore did not release worldwide data for 2020, but Variety said global returns slumped some 71%.
The pandemic forced movie theaters to close around the world in mid-March, bringing some small and big chains like AMC Entertainment to the brink of ##bankruptcy. Theaters have still to reopen in the ##biggest_US_markets of Los Angeles and New York City.
Some 274 movies - including blockbusters like “No Time to Die,” “Top Gun: Maverick” and the ninth “Fast and Furious” action film - were moved to 2021 release dates, according to the Comscore report.
That left Sony Pictures cop caper “Bad Boys for Life,” released in January last year, as the top-earning movie in North America for 2020 with $206 million. In 2019, “Avengers: Endgame” ruled the domestic box office with $858 million.
Thriller “Tenet” from Warner Bros, which hoped to tempt movie-goers back into theaters in the summer, took in just $58 million in the US and Canada.
Paul ##Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Comscore, said that 2020 revenue - much of it from drive-in venues - was grounds for hope given that some industry observers had feared the figure would be even smaller.
“That should be extremely encouraging to anyone who was worried that ##movie-going would not come back at all,” Dergarabedian said.