For the first time in box office history, China has surpassed the U.S. as the most profitable movie box office in the world.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, global revenue tumbled more than 72 percent, with a 70 percent dip in the U.K. and an 80 percent fall in North America. Amid the coronavirus pandemic and unprecedented theater closures, domestic movie tickets sold between Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 generated an estimated $2.28 billion compared to $11.4 billion in 2019, according to Comscore estimates.
In addition, Chinese produced movie and World War II epic “The Eight Hundred” topped the worldwide box office chart with nearly $440 million. Multiple other Chinese films, including “My People, My Homeland,” populated the upper reaches of the chart, as did Japan's hit “Demon Slayer.” This is another first, considering Hollywood movies usually dominate.
"The movie business will be forever changed no doubt, but movie theaters will be ready for their closeup and as things slowly return to some semblance of normal, they will star in an uplifting sequel of their own," Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst, Comscore told The Hollywood Reporter. "2021 will be arguably the most important year in the history of the big screen, and one that will bridge the gap between a devastating 2020 that tragically affected so many people and impacted so profoundly many brick and mortar businesses."
Even though the country came out on top, China’s box office was also down due to the pandemic by 70 percent.