Hooray for Hollywood! All box office regions brought some notable positive news this week as recovery continues to be seen in different pockets around the world. However, arguably the most important was the re-opening of Los Angeles. Coming just a couple of weeks on from the re-opening of another key Domestic market, New York City, the re-opening of Los Angeles (and a number of other counties) boosted California’s market share of open theaters from 13% a week ago to 45% this past weekend.
The Domestic market as a whole is now up to 55% of movie theaters open by market share. With the news coming this week that the Cineworld-owned Regal circuit will begin re-opening its US theaters in April further boosts to the Domestic market are shortly anticipated.
Los Angeles’ re-opening also allowed California to achieve the Stage 2 (first box office) target of Gower Street’s Blueprint To Recovery on Saturday (Mar. 20). The Stage 2 target is measured as a box office day equivalent to the lowest-grossing day recorded in the last two pre-pandemic years (2018-2019). The image below is take from the California page of Gower Street’s latest Domestic Road To Recovery report.
California’s achievement of the Stage 2 target comes just two weeks on from New York and Oregon hitting the same marker. This leaves New Mexico, which is making its first tentative re-opening steps, as the only state yet to achieve this first, base level of daily business recovery.
But the good news this week wasn’t limited to the Domestic market, with the Latin American, Asia Pacific and even EMEA regions posting some positive recovery developments.
In Latin America, Argentina’s continuing growth since the re-opening of Buenos Aires at the beginning of March, led to the market becoming the first in the region to hit the Stage 3 Blueprint To Recovery target (See image below from Gower Street’s latest International Road To Recovery report).
Argentina achieved Stage 3, which requires a box office week equivalent to the lowest-grossing box office week recorded in 2018-2019, for the March 11 play-week. That week achieved nearly half (48%) of the Stage 4 target (a week equivalent to the median week of 2018-2019), with market business continuing to rise this past weekend; Saturday (Mar. 20) saw business in Argentina tracking just 15% behind the average of last three pre-pandemic years (2017-2019).
In Asia, delayed reporting on the long-anticipated release of anime EVANGELION 3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME has revealed the film took Japan back to Stage 5 levels in both its preview and opening weeks (the March 6 and March 13 play-weeks). The latest film in the anime franchise, which last saw a new instalment back in 2012, is already up to $45.5 million in Japan after its second official weekend, where it remained #1. Meanwhile Japan’s all-time #1, DEMON SLAYER THE MOVIE: MUGEN TRAIN, continues to dominate in Malaysia since the market re-opened at the start of the month and is once again climbing in South Korea in week 8. Global box office on the title – which will receive a North American theatrical release April 23 – now stands at $412.5 million.
Even Europe had some good news this week with the market share of cinemas open in Spain jumping back up to 63%, having dipped below 50% in recent weeks. A smaller glimmer of hope may also have been glimpsed in Austria where the small region of Vorarlberg saw cinemas allowed to re-open this past weekend as a test case. The market share of cinemas open across the EMEA region is now 20%, up from 18% a week ago.
Overall global market share of open cinemas hit 62% this past weekend, the highest it has been since mid-November.