The 39th week of the year dropped down to only 39% of the same week in 2019. This capped off a “September slump” over the last three weeks of the month. Fortunately, October has kicked off in record-breaking form and should produce a strong rebound. The third quarter of 2021 ended up at 51% of the same quarter in 2019. After a disappointing the first two quarters, comparing at 11% and 25% respectively, the third quarter showed steady progress on the road to recovery. But will it be fast enough?
The first three quarters of 2021 generated only 30% of the box office from the same period in 2019. The decline in attendance was even higher than 70%, because of the increase in the average ticket price. Exhibitors also have to add to this a loss of income from lower concessions sales due to lower attendance.
By this point, the industry has made it through the worst of its struggles on a comparative basis with 2019. The most recent four weeks add up to 57% of the same four weeks in 2019. The current rate of recovery is a gain of 1.27 percentage points per week. At this rate, it will take up to the final day of 2021 to climb back to earning 75% of 2019 levels. Let’s see how October’s performance moves the needle.