1 MAR 2024

Global theatrical revenues reached $30.3 billion in 2023

The latest Ampere Analysis figures a 30% increase from 2022 but still remaining 17% below the market's pre-pandemic value in 2019.

1 MAR 2024

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The British consulting firm Ampere Analysis released figures on the global state of theatrical revenue. The study reveals that global box office revenues reached $30.3 billion by the end of 2023, marking a 30% increase from 2022 but still remaining 17% below the market's pre-pandemic value in 2019.

The driving force behind these figures seems to be the ongoing trend of banking on successful formulas supported by fandom. This translates to Hollywood releases by major studios, especially those within popular franchises, being key to supporting the global market. Among the top 10 highest-grossing films of the year, eight were either continuations of existing series (such as "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse") or re-interpretations of established characters (such as "The Little Mermaid" and "Wonka"). The use of popular characters and ongoing storylines proved instrumental in studios capitalizing on the interests of pre-built fanbases.

Nevertheless, the significant exception to this trend was the phenomenon "Barbenheimer," which featured lively online engagement and double-feature screenings. This helped Warner Bros. Discovery's "Barbie" and "Universal's Oppenheimer" generate a total of $2.4 billion globally between them.

Looking forward, 2024 will see the global market face several adverse conditions limiting but likely not entirely suppressing ongoing revenue growth. Macro-economic uncertainty and the cost of living crisis will continue to impact consumer spending through 2024, while the lasting impact of the Hollywood Actors' and Writer's strikes will see a lower volume of new titles released during the year as a result of disruption to production schedules the year prior.

This may limit cinema engagement among casual consumers. However, high engagement with theatrical in 2023, sustained momentum in revenue growth compared to 2022, and a rising number of consumers reporting going to the cinema multiple times per quarter paints a positive picture of the market in the near term and suggest low levels of growth should be expected for the sector through 2024 and beyond.