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2022 Box Office Revenue Has Been Robust, But Can Ticket Sales Be Sustained?

Post-Pandemic Rebound

The year 2022 is shaping up to be a good one for the movie industry, which has struggled to regain its footing following COVID-19 shutdowns. So far this year, box office sales are up over 250% compared to 2021. Still, revenue lags behind 2019’s pre-pandemic levels by about 33%.

Movies such as Top Gun: Maverick by Paramount (PARA) and Skydance have made some analysts optimistic for the industry’s prospects. The film has generated around $521 million in US revenue. Other movies such as Elvis, Jurassic World: Dominion, and The Black Phone each snagged over $20 million in ticket sales this previous weekend.

Inflation’s Threat

Optimism over the potential for a sustained rebound is tempered by concerns tied to inflation, which could diminish theater attendance. In an environment where consumers’ wallets are increasingly stretched thin, discretionary spending on things like movies may be the first cut from budgets.

Others counter that movies are somewhat “recession proof” given their lower cost, relative to other forms of recreation.

Upcoming Film Releases

Industry observers say original content provided by non-franchise films will play an important role in the industry’s recovery. The revenue they generate fills the gaps between blockbuster releases.

There is still a lot coming to theaters this year, with a range of films for audiences of different ages. These include Disney (DIS) and Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Universal’s (CMCSA) Minions: The Rise of Gru as well as Sony’s (SONY) Bullet Train. For those consumers who are rethinking road trip plans amid soaring gas prices, a drive to the local theater may prove to be an entertaining alternative.

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James Flippin ABOUT James Flippin James Flippin is the son of a financial advisor who grew up hearing and learning about bond yields, interest rates, the stock market, and the ins and outs of Wall Street. After stints as a licensing and business broker for Marcus and Millichap in New York City, James moved into broadcasting and became a reporter and anchor. He covered crime, politics, finance, and tech at NBC News Radio while working part-time as a producer for SiriusXM. James graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics. He's also an accomplished podcaster with over 10-years of experience.

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