Jungle Cruise led all films in week 31 with an opening week gross of $49.6M through Thursday 8/5. Based on this result, week 31 of 2021 rose to 50% when compared with week 31 of 2019. This is only the second time during the pandemic era when our 2021-to-2019 comparison was north of 50%. The other instance was in week 28 when Black Widow’s opening week of $106M drove the 2021 number to 83% in 2021 when compared with the same film week in 2019. This week’s performance moved our comparison of 2021 Q3 results to 47% of the grosses generated during 2019 Q3. Our run rate comparison of the trailing four weeks in both years also rose by two percentage points to 48%. The “Velocity” metric that we introduced last week rose by 1.29 percentage points per week. Based on this gain in the speed of the recovery, we now estimate that exhibition will reach 75% of 2019 revenues by 12/31/21.
It is imperative for the health of exhibitors that the Velocity of the recovery increases steadily. On Friday, Cinemark announced that its operating loss for the second quarter of 2021 was $142M. On Monday, AMC is expected to announce that it lost several hundreds of millions of dollars in its second quarter. Every exhibitor is evaluating its status and calibrating its next steps. Now that the key summer movie releases are winding down, exhibitors will be faced with numerous difficult decisions over the remainder of the year, and the speed of recovery will be critical to all of them.