United Arab Emirates has become the latest market to successfully achieve the Stage 2 target of Gower Street’s Blueprint To Recovery. While some markets have achieved the goal almost immediately upon re-opening (including China – the previous market to hit the goal), it proved a longer road for UAE. The Stage 2 target was achieved on Friday July 31, more than two months after cinemas were first allowed to start re-opening in the market on Wednesday May 27.

To achieve its Stage 2 target (a daily box office equivalent to the previous lowest day of box office from the previous two years – what Gower Street considers a “base day”) UAE needed to generate a single day box office of AED 375k. July 31 was more than up to the task, delivering AED 542k according to our partners at Comscore Movies.

The achievement was clearly holiday and product driven in UAE. The market share of open theaters in the market rose only slightly week-on-week (from 59% on July 25 to 61% on August 1), however three new openers brought audiences flocking over the Eid al-Adha Islamic holiday. Family action comedy MY SPY, starring Dave Bautista, proved the top choice for UAE audiences (as it also did in neighbouring Saudi Arabia). This was supported by Russian-Chinese co-production THE IRON MASK (aka VIY 2/JOURNEY TO CHINA: THE MYSTERY OF THE IRON MASK), which brings together a multi-national cast including Jackie Chan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the late Rutger Hauer; and Arabic time-travel comedy EL GHASALA (THE WASHING MACHINE). Between them the three titles sold more than 16,750 tickets over the standard 3-day weekend in UAE.

Gower Street’s Growth Trackers (see above for UAE) are featured weekly for 30 global markets, 12 Canadian provinces and all 50 US states in our Road To Recovery reports. These measures progress toward a series of identified growth targets that are key indicators of market recovery. You can access a free trial of the reports here.