2021’s Box Office is 101% Higher Than 2020 (But 60% Lower Than 2019)
Although the domestic box office for 2021 was up a lot from 2020, it could not match 2019’s revenue. In 2020, the film industry suffered a significant hit as many theaters were closed due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Studios adapted to streaming films and delayed major releases while releasing films at a slower pace on streaming. Theaters began to open slowly in 2021 as vaccines became easier to obtain. Many major releases were also released to attract audiences to the theaters.
2021 has been a year of box office successes, such as the huge opening weekend of Spider-Man, which became the 11th most-grossing film at the domestic box office, unadjusted to inflation. Even some big hits have been hit with snags, such as The Last Duel, which is still expected to lose money, despite its $774 million global gross. More adult-skewing movies like King Richard and The Final Duel have not generated older audiences to go back to the theaters.
A recent report by THR shows that the domestic box office in 2021 brought in $4.5 billion. This is 101% more than 2020’s domestic box-office tally, but it was 60% less than 2019’s domestic total of $11.4 trillion. Domestic revenue was last at $4.5 billion in 1992, more than 29 years ago.
Many factors could explain this huge gap between 2019-2021. The largest factor was the COVID-19 pandemic. Some theaters didn’t open until mid-March or Memorial Day weekend. This left many months of the broken box office. Many studios also released their films online, along with the theaters’ opening days. This impacted the overall box office. Another factor is the comfortability of the audience. older audiences were less likely to return, and children were not eligible for the vaccine until recently. 2021 was the first year since 2000 that an animated film hasn’t cracked the top 10 domestically.
Although 2021 was lower than 2019, it is still a promising sign that it is higher than 2020. 2022 will see theaters open fully, which is a change from 2021. It will also feature high-profile films like Jurassic World and Avatar. 2022 may surpass 2021 with the return of the different studios to a 45-day theatrical window and the availability of the vaccine. It is not clear how long it will take domestic box offices to reach 2019’s heights, but it seems there is still a demand for theaters to be open again.