Global Box Office Projected To Reach $21.6B In 2021 After Powerful October: Analysts

'The Battle at Lake Changjin' Bona

In mid-September, Gower Street Analytics projected global box office for 2021 would come in at $20.2B. The London-based film tech company now has increased its estimate to $21.6B, with the possibility of hitting a nice round $22B.

The reason for the shift is driven primarily by the strong performance of October titles including China’s The Battle at Lake Changjin ($830M through this past Sunday), MGM/Eon/Universal’s No Time to Die ($525.2M) and Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage ($352.4M). Warner Bros/Legendary’s Dune is also coming out of a strong, expanded release frame with a global total of $223.2M, per Monday actuals.

Gower Street now sees worldwide ticket sales for the year repping an 80% increase on 2020 (compared with its earlier estimate of +68%). While off 49% from 2019’s banner pre-Covid year, 2021 has narrowed the gap from a previous projection of -52%, the firm says.


An estimate of $3.2B for the month of October would land its business just 4% behind the average of the three pre-pandemic years (2017-2019). No previous month in 2021 has performed better than 40% behind the three-year average, per Gower Street.

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There have been clear gains in Asia Pacific, with the 2021 regional share expected to reach 52.2% (up from just over 50%). This is down to China, while other key APAC markets have seen a reduced market share of worldwide box office — notably including Korea, which has been soft of late, and Australia, which slowly is coming out of lockdown. China is expected to represent nearly 34% of the global box office in 2021, compared with 28% in 2020.

The EMEA region is seen dropping from 23.1% to 21.6%. The latter figure is on par with Gower Street’s domestic projection for 2021. Latin America would rep 4.6% of the global total, the firm says.

Major titles still to release this year include Disney/Marvel’s Eternals, Sony/Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home and Warner Bros’ The Matrix Resurrections.

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