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BOX OFFICE Italy

Italian productions drove the box office forward in 2020, winning a market share of 56.56%

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- According to Cinetel, January 2020 saw the 3rd best box office result in 10 years while cinema admissions ahead of the crisis grew by 20% with respect to 2019

Italian productions drove the box office forward in 2020, winning a market share of 56.56%
Tolo Tolo by Checco Zalone

In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic laid siege to an Italian box office which was clearly on the up, posting good results in 2019 (read our news) and recording a more than promising start to the new year. Indeed, national productions stood strong in spite of the crisis, carving themselves out a 56.56% market share (compared to 2019’s 21.24%) and earning the sector €103.2 million in takings (135 million in 2019; -23.57%). These are the figures to emerge from Cinetel’s data on 2020 cinema screenings, which reveal a film market struck down by the health crisis and wrestling with five-month-plus cinema closures, at a time when the industry was just beginning to record a rise in earnings with respect to the previous year.

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In 2020, the Italian box office earned €182,509,209 for 28,140,682 cinema admissions which, when compared to 2019, represents a decrease in earnings and admissions of 71.30% and 71.18% respectively. 2020 started out brilliantly in terms of takings in the month of January, recording the third best result of the past 10 years and the fourth best result overall, surpassing the €100 million earned in 1995 (the year Cinetel began collating statistics). Towards the end of February, before the crisis hit, the market share had grown, in terms of takings, by over 20% compared to 2019, despite the latter year recording the 5th best result in terms of earnings since 1995.

246 new films were distributed in cinemas for the first time in 2020 (-277 compared to 2019), 124 of which were Italian productions or co-productions. The driving force behind the impressive results racked up by national films in the months of January and February was Tolo Tolo [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, which provided the industry with its first earnings for the year in the form of €46.2 million. Besides Checco Zalone’s offering, the year’s second and third best results were achieved by a further two Italian titles: Me contro Te – La Vendetta del Signor S [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 (9.5 million) and Odio l’estate [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(7.5 million). Sitting comfortably in seventh and eighth place, meanwhile, were Hammamet [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and The Best Years [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
with 5.6 and 5.7 million in takings.

American cinema saw a notable drop in its market share, with an overall result of 28.42% (compared to 65.15% in 2019) and takings approximating €51.8 million (414.3 million in 2019; -87.48%). Following behind the Italian and US performances comes that of British film (€16.6 million taken at the box office; market share: 9.12%), Korean productions (€4.6 million; market share: 2.55%), owing primarily to the success enjoyed by Parasite, and then French cinema (€3.7 million; market share: 2.04%).

With regard to the cinemas themselves, a gradual recovery was noted following their re-opening from 15 June. On 30 June, 168 cinemas, for a total of 346 screens, had resumed activities, with these numbers rising to 391 and 670 in July, and 730 and 2,315 in August, before levelling out in September and October to total a little over 900 cinemas and 2,881 screens in operation. The greater quantity of cinema complexes (+86) and screens (+122) recorded in Cinetel’s 2020 sample compared to that of 2019 (1,309 cinemas and 3,667 screens) is well worth a mention. This increase can be attributed to the inclusion in the sample - following the promotion of the “Moviement Village” project - of 152 new “summer outdoor arenas” (equating to 158 more screens than in 2019) which were utilised more than they had been in the past, in order to provide audiences with an opportunity to watch films on the big screen safely, in the open air.

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(Translated from Italian)

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