As of mid-2022, all the top 20 most commercially successful movies worldwide were at least partially – but most of the time, completely – made in the United States. Films such as "Avatar" (2009), "Avengers: Endgame" (2019), and "Titanic" (1997) grossed billions of dollars across the globe after selling millions of tickets in one of the most competitive markets on the planet: the U.S. Although China surpasses the U.S. and Canada in terms of box office revenue , the two North American countries form a solid second place, having amassed in 2021 more than Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and South Korea altogether. Before the coronavirus outbreak, the box office revenue in the U.S. and Canada consistently stood above 11 billion U.S. dollars annually throughout the second half of the past decade. The 2021 figure fell short of even half of that, just below 4.5 billion dollars, indicating that American theaters would take a longer time to recover from the pandemic.

The post-pandemic scenario

A study concluded in May 2022 asked how often internet users across the U.S. had gone to the movies in the past few years. About 60 percent of them said that before the COVID-19 outbreak, they would see a film in theaters at least sometimes. Between January and April 2022, the share stood at 27 percent. It seemed that the coronavirus changed consumer behavior not necessarily due to the fear of infection but rather because lockdown periods introduced the audience to new – and more economical – lifestyles. During the same survey, 55 percent of responding infrequent moviegoers said they did not go to theaters primarily because they preferred to watch films at home; half of the interviewees added that movie tickets were too expensive. Only little more than a third of respondents selected COVID-19 as a major reason. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of overall respondents said they felt comfortable going to the movies , again reinforcing the idea that the pandemic was no longer the most inhibiting element in moviegoing.

Time to munch a bigger bite?

Refreshments may be an extra cost for clients, but for cinema circuits, they might be a side hustle turning into a core business. At the end of 2021, AMC – the leading movie theater chain in the U.S. – announced it would sell its popcorn both through delivery services and at physical stores detached from theaters in the following year. The initiative aims at transporting part of the moviegoing experience to different contexts of consumers’ lives – maybe even when they are streaming films at home. In 2021, more than one-third of AMC Theatres' revenue came from selling food and beverages . The figure added up to almost 860 million dollars. This is more than ConAgra Foods Inc. and all other four labels across the country collectively amassed by selling single-serve microwave popcorn in the U.S. one year before.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 34 most important statistics relating to "Box office in the U.S. and Canada".


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