Can Cinema Bounce Back To 2019 Levels?

Cinemagoing will bounce back in 2021, but don’t expect attendance levels – not in the West, at any rate – to overtake 2019 or other recent benchmark years, simply because venues won’t be open or operating at full capacity for the entire 12 months. 2022 will be a better measure of where the exhibition stands.

The sector took a battering in 2020 and the impact of the pandemic and resulting cinema closures will change exhibition forever. Some independent and small chains will go out of business, while the giant circuits may restructure or consolidate – economic recovery can be a busy time for mergers and acquisitions – and shut down venues that have traditionally underperformed.

While there will be plenty of postponed and new films to screen in 2021, cinemas and audiences will only return in force once widely available Covid vaccines have created herd immunity. Inevitably there will be some who, shaken by the events of 2020, will never return to cinemas. Experts believe most patrons are likely to do so: everybody needs to get out, and cinema going remains a unique and affordable entertainment option.

The pandemic, coupled with huge subscriber and content gains by streamers in 2020, has accelerated the shrinking of the exclusive theatrical window in the US to 17 days in some cases. Nonetheless, cinemas will benefit from ticket sales on coveted releases, while the savvy chains will negotiate PVoD revenue share deals with studios to share in success once a film enters the home. AMC, Cinemark and Cineplex have already done this with Universal in arrangements that will last well beyond 2021.

References :

What Next for Sony and Paramount?

February 23, 2021

2021 Film Festivals and Markets: Latest Dates, Postponements And Cancellations

February 23, 2021