Worldwide box office totalled $12b at August's end. That was the total reported in the full year 2020. At the current pace, 2021 will end the year at over $20b. That great!
On the flip-side, that performance will be over 50% below the $42.3b record set in 2019. But, the cinema is on the mend and barring any unforeseen mega-strain of the COVID should return to the $40+b level in 2022.
This forecast is well-founded and would place China as the world's largest box office. The pandemic and other political conditions, however, have made China's cinema industry much more insular and an increasingly difficult place for Hollywood to do business.
At the end of 2020, only 56% of cinemas were opened for business on a global basis as governments responded to second and third waves of the virus by shuttering cinemas. At the beginning of September, this year, 88% of global cinemas were in operation. This was equal to the pre-pandemic peak in 2021.
The cinema is coming back and in a big way. I predict that the global box office will exceed forecasts and reach the $45b level.