The mixed results of the 2021 box office in France and around the world

The big box of Spider-Man hides a still complicated recovery in the dark rooms, still overwhelmed by the COVID crisis.

2020, annus horribilis for the cinema. 2021, year of recovery. Without a trumpet or drum, the attendance of dark rooms is on the rise after a blank period of several months, which marked the industry in a historic way. If the recovery is pointing the tip of its nose, it is taking place slowly in a context of COVID still so heavy. The closures have given way to gauges and then to the sanitary pass, and cinemas in France and Navarre are still far from having regained pre-COVID attendance.

Despite everything, the latest figures for the year (stopped on December 21) compiled by Comscore show that since the reopening on May 19, the screening rooms are filling up again: 96 million spectators have come to see a film. in 2021, i.e. an increase in attendance of 47% compared to 2020 (almost blank year), but still far from the 213.3 million tickets sold in 2019.

Spider-Man: No Way Home becomes 20th biggest hit of all time

Despite everything, the shock was better received in France than in Great Britain, Germany or Spain, where the drop in attendance compared to 2019 is even more severe. Above all, the last month of 2021 saw French cinemas register scores equivalent to those of December 2019: 20.43 million admissions against 22.68 million at the time.

A real cause for hope. An encouraging performance, boosted, it is true, by the flash success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which has become in a few weeks the biggest success of the year for us, with 4.6 million admissions. The superhero film is ahead of Daniel Craig’s latest James Bond, To die can wait (4 million) and the remake of Dune by Denis Villeneuve (3.2 million). French cinema is also enjoying some great successes, such as Kaamelott: First Stream (2.7 million) and BAC North (2.2 million), which occupy the 4th and 5th places of the Top 2021. The Tuche, OSS 117, The Bodins, Aline or even the surprise Black Box also passed the milestone of one million spectators.

In France, Les Tuche 4 double Encanto

The 2021 global box office is also boosted by Spider-Man: No Way Home, which is the only feature film to pass the symbolic billion dollar revenue mark. Importantly, the Asian market made up for the somewhat disappointing scores of James bond and other Fast & Furious, taped below $ 800 million in revenue. Two Chinese hits (The Battle of Lake Changjin and Hi, Mom) rise on the podium of the global box office, when the Japanese manga Demon slayer – The movie: Infinity train secures a place in the Top 10.

If American cinema has not dominated as usual, it is because its domestic market has also experienced a stammering recovery. As in France, the US box office recorded a spectacular increase compared to the previous year: + 100% attendance in 2021, with 4.55 billion dollars in revenue (against 2.28 billion in 2020) according to Comscore . But this remains very low (-60%) compared to 11.4 billion in 2019: “The pace of the recovery is occurring at a slower pace than expected“, confirms to Deadline a industry analyst. “But the recovery will continue. Part of the problem is that there are just fewer movies: the whole middle market is gone, but the huge blockbusters will continue to score bigger and bigger. “

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