The Netherlands has become the first Western European market to achieve the “full recovery” stage on Gower Street’s Blueprint To Recovery. The achievement comes just a week after the market hit its Stage 4 goal for the first time!
Stage 4 on Gower Street’s Blueprint To Recovery means it has achieved a box office play-week equivalent to the median business week of 2018-2019, the last two pre-pandemic years. As can be seen on the Growth Trackers for the Netherlands (below) the Stage 4 target was €6.03 million. The July 22 play-week hit that mark with €6.13 million, up 37% week-on-week, as summer vacations kicked in in Central and Southern regions having already been underway in the North.
Stage 5, or the “full recovery” marker, is measured as a box office play-week equivalent to a week performing in the top quartile of 2018-2019 play-weeks. For the Netherlands this target was just shy of €7 million (€6.99m). This was achieved in the July 29 play-week with a €7.16 million box office total, up another 17% week-on-week.
It had taken the Netherlands a full year to achieve Stage 4 after first achieving Stage 3 (a play-week equivalent to the lowest grossing week of the two pre-pandemic years) during its first re-opening for the July 23 play-week in 2020. After reclosing the market’s 2021 re-opening came on June 5. The first 2021 play-week to take it back to a Stage 3 level of business followed for the June 17 play-week.
The Netherlands is only the second market in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region, tracked by our partners at Comscore Movies, to have achieved Stage 5, following Russia which did so in the first play-week of the year – traditionally a strong performer in the Eastern European major. China, Japan and Taiwan have also achieved Stage 5. The Netherlands was also only the fourth market in the EMEA region to reach a median (Stage 4) level of pre-pandemic business since the pandemic began, following Russia; France, which did so in the June 30 play-week; and Austria which managed to hit the mark just a week ahead of the Netherlands.
Austria was previously the Western European market to have come closest to its Stage 5 goal, achieving 99% of the target in the July 16 play-week thanks to wide school holidays and a strong opening for F9. It comparison, the Netherlands achieved 88% of its Stage 5 goal in the July 22 play-week upon hitting Stage 4.
As well as the holiday boost, the July 22 (Stage 4) success in the Netherlands was thanks to a vibrant market offering. F9 (aka FAST & FURIOUS 9) headed business in its third week, slipping just 21% week-on-week, with THE HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD opening in second. BLACK WIDOW (-25%) came in third, also in its third weekend, while SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY increased business by 18% in its second week. Other new openers, local comedy MESKINA and BOSS BABY 2 finished at #5 and #6, respectively. Family titles THE CROODS: A NEW AGE (in week 4) and local family adventure DE NOG GROTERE SLIJMFILM (in week 3) also enjoyed holiday upswings of 42% and 55%, respectively.
The July 29 (Stage 5) play-week brought THE LICE MOTHER, a movie spin-off of a popular 2018-2019 Dutch TV show set in a primary school, which opened #1 ahead of Disney’s JUNGLE CRUISE. There were also continued impressive holds across other top 10 titles, including THE HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD (-21%), F9 (-27%), BLACK WIDOW (-35%), MESKINA (-3%), BOSS BABY 2 (-9%), SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY (-21%), DE NOG GROTERE SLIJMFILM (+1%), and THE CROODS: A NEW AGE (-12%).
Russia has gone on to surpass its 2020 year-end total in 2021. As of August 7, The Netherlands is still tracking 54% behind 2020 at the same stage in the year (see statistics box above).