Due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, 2020 was the biggest drop in the global box office in at least four decades. Only about two and half months worth of movies were released by studios under the usual circumstances of releases before it all came crashing down, resulting in the US box office falling 80% and the worldwide tallies falling 70% when compared to 2019. Things are starting to look grim for 2021 as well though, with movie releases dates set for the spring and summer of this year already delayed until the fall or into the first part of 2022. In a new report though, one veteran analyst points to when Hollywood can start to expect things to be normal, and it's going to be a while.
According to Eric Wold, an analyst for B. Riley Securities (via Deadline), 2023 will be a year for box office records. Though Wold says that currently exhibitors are having efforts to stay afloat hurt by the slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, things will get better. In comparison to 2019, when the US box office was over $11.4 billion, Wold goes on to note that 2021 will be down 40% in comparison to 2019, with 2022 down just 7%, and 2023 up 7% compared to 2019. 2018 remains the record holding year for the domestic box office with $11.9 billion total, should Wold's prediction hold through to 2023 it would mark a year with $12.198 billion domestic.
For comparison's sake, 2019 and its $11.4 billion domestic haul was bolstered by Walt Disney Studios who had seven of the Top 10 highest grossing movies in the US, holding onto the top six spots uninterrupted. Avengers: Endgame was #1 with $858 million followed by the likes of The Lion King with $543 million, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker with $515 million, and Frozen II with $477 million. 2018 on the other hand was lead by Black Panther with $700 million domestic, Avengers: Infinity War with $678 million, Incredibles 2 with $608 million, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom with $417 million, and Aquaman with $335 million.
For 2023 to compare with these years it's going to take HUGE blockbusters from the studios to compete with those previously mentioned titles. Due to the influx of movies delayed from 2020 to 2021 and troubles in getting productions up off the ground, there are very few movies scheduled for 2023 right now so it's hard to consider if the prediction of a record breaking box office year will occur.
Current movies scheduled to be released in 2023 include the Willy Wonka prequel movie Wonka set for March 17, the highlight anticipated sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods on June 2, the Mad Max prequel Furiosa on June 23, the Patty Jenkins helmed Star Wars: Rogue Squadron on December 22, and then James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 which doesn't have a date yet.
(Cover photo by E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)