Cinema market assessment: The cinema year 2022 can come

Review cinema year 2021

In my estimation, 2021 was a good year for cinema ‘under the circumstances’. Although cinemas could not actually open until the second half of the year, attendance vs. 2020 increased by about 10 percent. Movies like James Bond and the Marvel series helped drive people to theaters to regain some cultural normalcy despite all the Corona measures. However, compared to the pre-Corona year of 2019, a dramatic drop of about 65 percent can still be seen (source FFA).

However, the delay in the release of the theatrical films from 2020 and early 2021 meant that the mega-blockbusters were really cannibalized and other films that would normally have been well received were pushed into the background because they were released in theaters at the same time. As a result, these films were less successful than they would have been under normal circumstances.

If we then take a look at the monthly audience figures, however, the picture is more positive than expected. For the period July to December 2021, there is a loss of about 36 percent compared to 2019. This loss can largely be attributed to the capacity limitations in the cinemas.

Outlook for the cinema year 2022

It is particularly nice that there was no real cinema death in the second Corona year of 2021, so that cinema visitors can rely on a wide range of cinemas in 2022.

2022 will probably be a year in which all figures show positive developments compared to the previous year. This applies to cinema visitors, revenues and the advertising spending. And even if certain Corona uncertainties continue to prevail, the current general conditions make people confident. We’re probably not going to get back to 2019 levels this year either, and visitors continue to be more cautious, but the theatrical year is waiting in the wings with blockbusters. While Marvel films are scattered throughout the year, audience magnets such as “Fantastic Beasts 3,” “Top Gun 2,” “Mission Impossible 7” and, at the end of the year, “Avatar 2” can be found in the interstices. For advertisers, this means a certain degree of predictability, possible continuity and better reach than in the previous year.

In my estimation, the share of the advertising pie for cinema will become larger again in 2022 (vs. 2021) – although not yet back at the level of 2019, but still at least in the right direction again.

In addition to the positive factors mentioned above (predictability, continuity, etc.), the reasons for this also lie in the fact that virtually the entire annual planning is on a reasonably secure footing and cinema can therefore be integrated. The transparent billing of actual visitors helps to ensure that advertising revenues also increase as the number of visitors rises. However, if there are restrictions or regulations, this transparency will lead to a significant drop in advertising revenues.