The domestic box office in 2021 was up significantly from 2020, although it still fell short of the revenue in 2019.
In 2020, the film industry suffered a major blow when theatres closed due to the COVID-19 epidemic, and studios responded to releasing films on streaming in an uncertain time while also delaying several important releases.
As vaccines became more widely available in 2021, movie theatres began to slowly open, and many major releases were issued in the hopes of attracting viewers safely to the theatres.
But 60% Lower Than 2019
The massive opening weekend of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which has become the 11th highest-grossing film of all time at the domestic box office unadjusted for inflation, has been one of the year’s box office success stories. Even the biggest hits have had their faults, such as No Time To Die, which is still expected to lose money after generating $774 million worldwide. Films with a more adult bent, such as King Richard, The Last Duel, and West Side Story, have failed to attract older viewers to return to the theatres.
According to THR, the domestic box office in 2021 brought in $4.5 billion USD. That’s a stunning 101 percent higher than the domestic box office total of 2020, but it’s still 60 percent lower than the $11.4 billion domestic box office total of 2019. Domestic revenue of $4.5 billion was last recorded in 1992, more than 29 years ago.
The massive gap between 2019 and 2021 can be attributed to a number of things. The biggest issue was the COVID-19 epidemic, as well as the fact that several theatres didn’t open until mid-March, just in time for Memorial Day weekend, leaving many months with a shattered box office.
Many studios also released their films on streaming on the same day they were released in theatres, reducing overall box office income. The other factor is audience comfort, as older audiences are less likely to return, and children were previously ineligible for the vaccine, making 2021 the first year since 2000 that an animated picture failed to break the top ten in the United States.