Based on an average cinema price of £6.75, the UK Cinema industry needs to sell 141 million tickets this summer to make up the deficit caused by COVID-19.
That means every single person in the UK needs to watch at least two movies in the cinema!
As an activity that requires close proximity to other people inside a darkened room, cinemas received a potentially mortal wound when the Coronavirus hit last year. It wasn’t simply the rapidly diminished audience numbers either: Hollywood studios pushed back the release dates of the year’s most hotly anticipated films, awards ceremonies were cancelled and productions were shut down.
In total, with a decline of 132,072,886 admissions in 2020, the British cinema industry has been amongst the worst industries hit by COVID-19. The UK Cinema Association reported a box office decline of 955.1 million GBP in 2020.
With such bleak statistics, many are asking can the cinema industry – already hit hard by streaming services such as Netflix – can ever recover its profitability?
In particular the Bond Franchise, two of which sit in the all time top 5 for UK Box office takings, is coming under scrutiny because No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s final appearance as Bond, is now scheduled for release in September.
But how many people would have to watch it at the cinema to counteract the huge losses provoked by COVID-19?
Despite the news this week of MGM’s acquisition by Jeff Bezos for a reputed $8.45bn (£5.97bn), EON, the production company behind the Bond franchise, stressed that the film will still see cinema release over launch on Amazon directly.
What did COVID-19 Mean for the Cinema Industry?
Coronavirus was always going to hit cinemas hard, but perhaps few could have predicted the 80% slump in box office revenues last year, resulting in a £2.2billion loss for the Cineworld group.
But can the cinema industry recover from the pandemic, or has the timing coincided with a broader cultural shift towards online streaming?
While cinephiles feel positive about the future, citing our nostalgic love affair with the silver screen, others point towards changing sentiments around how we engage with cinema content. Warner Bros shocked the industry recently by announcing that would release some its biggest new releases — including “Dune,” “The Matrix 4” and “The Suicide Squad” — to its HBO Max streaming service for 31 days the same day they debut on the silver screen in 2021.
UK population figures: https://datacommons.org/place/country/GBR?utm_medium=explore&mprop=count&popt=Person&hl=en
Cinema Admissions: https://www.cinemauk.org.uk/the-industry/facts-and-figures/uk-cinema-admissions-and-box-office/monthly-admissions/