Asia dominates the global box office, and it appears that the US has a path to recovery

Asia dominates the global box office, and it appears that the US has a path to recovery

Movie goers wear face masks in a movie theater auditorium nearly six months after it was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic on July 24, 2020 in Beijing, China.

China News Service | China News Service | Getty Images

In a year marred by a deadly global pandemic, the Japanese box office set a new record.

Based on the popular manga, “Demon Slayer” has become the highest-grossing movie in the nation’s history, surpassing the record for Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away” in 2001. It has sold more than $ 322 million in ticket sales.

Japan, an East Asian island nation with a population of over 126 million, has had fewer than 300,000 cases of coronavirus and has only seen box office revenues drop 46% in 2020 to $ 1.27 billion.

For comparison, the Domestic box office multiplied 80% to $ 2.28 billion, As the number of Coronavirus cases in the United States has exceeded 21.6 million since the start of the epidemic. Canada, a contributor to the domestic box office, has seen fewer than 645,000 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Japan is just one country in the Asia-Pacific region of the world that has managed to navigate Coronavirus pandemic In this way the case numbers remained low and consumer confidence remained high.

In places like China, Australia and South Korea, where Covid cases have fallen dramatically, analysts and operators are seeing the box office recovering and booming.

In fact, the Asia-Pacific region saw an increase in market share in 2020. While the global box office was much lower last year – about 70% than it was in 2019, or about $ 12.4 billion – the Asia-Pacific region accounts for 51%. From ticket sales. In 2019, those countries accounted for 41%, according to data from Comscore and analytics from Gower Street.

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For comparison, in 2019, the box office in the United States and Canada accounted for 30% of global ticket sales. In 2020, that market share has decreased to only 18%.

The Asia-Pacific region has made vigorous efforts to combat Coronavirus, including Travel suspension, Establishing Extensive testing and contact tracing, Impose masks and enforce strict social distancing rules. Regardless of each country’s approach, its ability to reduce coronavirus cases and reopen their economies shows that if the United States can do the same, it may see similar results.

So far, the The response to the Coronavirus in America has been slow Cases continue to rise to historic levels, with the number of hospitalizations and deaths also rising.

Since August, when the majority of theaters reopened globally, the Asia-Pacific region has accounted for roughly 78% of the total box office space worldwide.

Comscore’s chief media analyst, Paul Dergarabedian, said the reason these countries were able to recover after large-scale theaters closed is twofold.

First, these countries have managed to control outbreaks through lockdowns, establish contact tracing and enforce mask authorizations. Reducing the number of cases and taking strict preventive measures instills a greater sense of confidence in potential moviegoers.

Second, these countries had new non-Hollywood films to release. Domestically, the box office was discontinued because there was no new product for the public to see. Even when the cinemas reopened at limited capacity, most of the films shown were old titles such as “Star Wars”, “Jaws” and “Goonies”.

In the Asia Pacific region, studios have had a steady stream of new content to lure people away from their couches. The moviegoers came out in droves.

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China had two movies generating more than $ 400 million at the domestic box office: “The Eight Hundred”, a war drama set in the 1930s, and “Popular, Patriotic,” a comedy made up of five short stories. Both films were released in the second half of the year.

For comparison, the highest-grossing movie in the US and Canada in 2020 was Sony’s “Bad Boys For Life”. The action movie starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence is the third film in the “Bad Boys” franchise and was released in January, before the virus began to spread in the United States and made $ 204 million in theaters.

No film released domestically in the second half of the year came close to making $ 100 million.

Universal’s family animated film “The Croods: A New Age” and Warner Bros. Superhero “Wonder Woman 1984” grossed less than $ 30 million domestically. “Tenet,” another Warner Bros. title, was released over Labor Day weekend and did not exceed $ 60 million during its theatrical run.

“There is no doubt that the way back to the normal big screen market will take a lot of time and a lot of patience,” Dergarabedian said. “But lessons learned from the example of countries that have rebounded strongly over the past several months show that the well-managed Covid response and engaging new films can together provide the spark to ignite box office prosperity now and in the future.”

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. “The Croods: A New Age” is a NBCUniversal movie.

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About the Author: Sapphire Robinson

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