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Hollywood box office sales hit 40-year low

Published 01/13/2021, 11:54 AM
Updated 01/13/2021, 12:00 PM
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Hollywood saw an unprecedented 80% slump in box office revenues in North America in 2020.

That's almost a 40-year low, according to historical data from Box Office Mojo.

Research firm Comscore's end-of-year report has also stated that North American box offices brought in just $2.2 billion in 2020 - compared to $11.4 billion in 2019.

With movie theaters closed across the world due to lockdown measures, studios were forced to delay release dates for scores of new films.

Some firms, like AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC), were brought to the brink of bankruptcy.

Theaters are still yet to reopen in the biggest U.S. markets of Los Angeles and New York City.

Some 274 movies - including blockbusters like "No Time to Die," "Top Gun: Maverick" and the ninth "Fast and Furious" action film - were forced to move their release dates to 2021.

That left Sony (NYSE:SNE) Pictures cop caper "Bad Boys for Life," released in January last year, as the top-earning movie in North America for 2020 - with $206 million.

Thriller "Tenet" from Warner Brothers, which hoped to tempt movie-goers back into theaters in the summer, took in just $58 million in the U.S. and Canada.

One media analyst for Comscore said that the 2020 revenue - much of it from drive-in venues - was actually grounds for hope.

Some industry observers feared the figure would be even smaller.

Comscore did not release worldwide data for 2020 - but entertainment newspaper Variety reported that global returns slumped some 71%.

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