Cinema, beyond “Spiderman” is deep red: 2021 marks -51%

On the one hand, the boom of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which makes the queues outside and over 19 million collections in just 15 days, on the other the theaters closed or reopened for a few despite every safety precaution: the cinema is alive but for now – at least in the room – not faring very good. The data of Christmas receipts are still partial, generally the balance is after January 6, but it does not take Nostradamus to hypothesize them at peak in the period of the year in which historically even the most recalcitrant indulge in leisure entertainment in comfortable armchairs in the dark as a gift under the tree.

Covid effect

Covid and the fears it brings with it, more or less aware, more or less justified (the exhibitors underline the state of safety of the structures), make 2021 close in deep red and what should have been the year of the restart it has become the encore of the annus horribilis of 2020, indeed even worse. Cinetel, which monitors 94% of Italian cinemas, has released the data for the year and there is little to be happy while making an effort to read them without emphasis. The president of the company of Anica and Anec, Davide Novelli, warns: “Measuring the results of a sector during such a complicated phase, especially in a sector such as the film industry, one of the most affected by the pandemic scenario, requires a lot of attention in interpreting the data. : these are numbers that signal the seriousness and the economic and social stress suffered by cinemas and cinema distributions, but which at the same time underline the vitality and the ability to react of the entire supply chain “.

Collections of (just) 170 million

You enter the cinema with the Super Green Pass and watch the film with the Ffp2 mask (for now 100% capacity) but there is no doubt that the market is strongly conditioned by the health emergency and not these days: the theaters have been closed for four months from the beginning of January to the end of April, then the desire to go out and the summer have postponed the real autumn return cold by the new worsening of Covid. Moral: in Italy in 2021 the cinemas recorded a total collection of about 170 million euros for a number of admissions equal to 25 million tickets sold. It is a slightly lower result than that of 2020 (-7% receipts and -11% attendance) which had nevertheless benefited from one of the best start-ups ever in pre-pandemic market conditions (in the room there was Checco Zalone with Tolo Tolo, the last chapter of Star Wars and the Pinocchio by Matteo Garrone).

Total collapse compared to the pre-pandemic

If we look at the pre-pandemic period, then, the impact is thunderous: there is a 71% decrease in receipts and 73% in attendance compared to the average for the three-year period 2017-2018-2019. A frightening figure which, if reduced to correctly consider only the data on the period May-December, the months in which the cinemas were reopened, lightens a bit, settling on about 51% and 53% less than the average of the period 2017-2018-2019. It should be remembered, reports Cinetel, that in 2020 the cinemas were closed from the end of October onwards and therefore it was not possible to consider this year as average).

Restart with wet powders

Seeing the glass half full is very hard, one can only remember in what conditions the cinema went on: they only reopened starting from April 26, in a context of substantial restrictions on access such as the “curfew” and distancing in the room, until the introduction of the green pass in August, the super green pass and the additional rules introduced close to the Christmas holidays. The success of Spider-Man allows an adrenaline rush: hope, as they say, is the last to die. And if 2021 gave a further psychological blow to spectators hungry for cinema “divanati” for two years now in the binge watching of platform streaming, it will be understood, but of course the unknown is great, until then the rules on the windows between the halls and platform, as requested by the sector, will be clear, rigid and spaced.


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