Gower Street Analytics is predicting that the global box office will reach $20.2 billion in 2021. The London-based global film tech company, which specializes in predictive box office for the distribution and exhibition sectors via its Forecast service, calculated the end-of-year estimate following its assessment that global box office had matched year-end 2020 results by the close of August.
Global box office for 2021 stood at $12 billion as of August 31, according to Gower Street’s Global Box Office Tracker. This equalled the year-end result for 2020 ($12 billion according to the MPAA’s Theme Report 2020). The 2021 result stood 58 percent ahead of 2020 ($7.61 billion) at the same stage, but 58 percent behind the average of the last three pre-pandemic years (2017-2019) at the end of August.
As of September 11, Gower Street estimates international box office (excluding China) to stand at $5.22 billion. Domestic box office stands at $2.31 billion and China at $5.13 billion. This past weekend marked the first time in 2021 that the international box office number has exceeded that of China.
Gower Street currently estimates that the international box office (excluding China) will finish at approximately $9.05 billion. This will be made up of $4.3 billion from Europe, Middle East and Africa, $3.85 billion from Asia Pacific (excluding China), and $900 million from Latin America. Predicted totals for the domestic and China markets, as well as how they and the international prediction differ from the three-year average.
The final four months of 2020 generated approximately $4.4 billion globally despite significant portions of the global exhibition sector being closed. At the start of September 2020, 75 percent of movie theaters by market share were operating. This had fallen to 56 percent by the close of the year. As of September 1, just under 88 percent of global cinemas, as measured by pre-pandemic market share, are operating –equalling the pandemic-era peak last recorded on July 31.
If Gower Street's 2021 full-year projection holds it will see the current year finish 52 percent down against 2019 and 68 percent ahead of 2020. In 2019 the global box office hit a record $42.3 billion (Source: MPAA Theme Report 2020).
Gower Street's new year-end calculation combines global box office actuals, provided by its partners at Comscore Movies, with monthly forward-projections by market based on its predictive box office service Forecast and analyst assessment. All projection figures are based on the current release calendar.
Revised global and regional year-end estimates for 2021 will be announced each month, the company said.