This week Gower Street has added another new feature to our international “Road To Recovery” report: The 5-stage markers of our “Blueprint To Recovery” by country.

The global movie industry continues to suffer the impact of the COVID-19 virus but some positive signs may be beginning to emerge. A number of markets across Asia and Europe appear to have seen the peak of the virus pass, with the number of active cases now steadily dropping. There remain no firm plans for a re-opening of cinemas in any closed market but a potential timeline around July looks hopeful following recent comments from UNIC (the international union of cinemas), and both Cinemark and the White House in the US, as well as consideration of the current release schedule.

Once cinemas are able to re-open the industry will need to be able to track performance recovery. This will almost certainly come at different times in each market, and at different speeds.

A few weeks ago Gower Street laid out its proposed benchmarks for a “Blueprint to Recovery” – the markers that would need to be achieved to indicate that the theatrical movie business was progressing in its recovery from the current crisis. We have now identified the theater and box office levels for each of these markers on a market-by-market basis. These are designed to offer clarity, following re-openings, in how each market is recovering. In turn this will provide an indicator of any damage done beyond the immediacy of lost short-term revenue.

The five identified stages were as follows:

  1. Open day – the foundation point at which a significant majority, 80% by market share, of cinemas are ready to begin operation providing a base from which to build on.
  2. Base day – the first day of operation in which box office reaches the lowest day’s box office result from the past two years. This would signify a core audience willingness to return to cinemas irrespective of the product offering.
  3. Base week – the first full-week of operation in which box office reaches the lowest week’s box office result from the past two years. This would signify consistency of audience engagement over a minimum period.
  4. Material week – a significant milestone from which to build on. This would be the first full-week to achieve a median level of the weekly business seen across the past two years. This would signify broader customer comfort with returning to the cinema environment and require compelling content to bring them in.
  5. Recovery week – This would be a week with equivalent performance to those in the top quartile of weekly business in the past two years. This would be dependent on a robust release calendar.

From this point the market should react as normal, with an ebb and flow dependent on the release calendar.

These “Blueprint To Recovery” markers are now included on the top left of each market-view page of our international “Road To Recovery” report (see Australia example below). It is the latest new feature to be added to the report following the year-to-date market-view grid and the Global Box Office Tracker, introduced in recent weeks.

Gower Street’s “Road To Recovery” report is available here.