UK box office on track to record first £1bn year since 2019

UK box office on track to record first £1bn year since 2019

The UK box office is forecast to record its first £1bn year since 2019, expecting to pass the milestone in the final two weeks of the year.

That is according to the latest figures from Comscore, which found total 2023 box office is running 8% ahead of the equivalent year-to-date period in 2022.

Following a Barbenheimer-led cinemagoing revival in the late summer and early autumn, however, box office revenues slipped in November compared to last year. Total gross in November (£58.9m) was 9% lower than in November 2022 (£64.8m).

The prior November’s revenue was driven in large part by the success of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. In contrast, this November’s big ticket Marvel film, The Marvels, has been a box office dud, grossing just £6.7m in its first three weeks.

Speaking last week at The New York Times DealBook Summit, Iger blamed the underperformance of The Marvels on a lack of supervision on set, caused by pandemic restrictions and increased output at the company’s streaming service, Disney+, stretching oversight too thin. Iger also admitted Disney has “made too many” sequels and stated his number one priority was getting Marvel back on the right track.

The top-performing film for month was instead the Hunger Games prequel, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which earned £11.3m in two weeks. It is followed by Ridley Scott’s Napoleon (£7.4m) which has received mixed reviews from critics.

The final month of the year features a relatively diverse slate of films.

Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé opened on 1 December and hopes to capitalise on the event film success of Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Concert) (£12.2m cumulative gross).

IP-driven prequel Wonka starring Timothée Chalamet opens on 8 December and DC superhero film Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom debuts on the 21st.

For enjoyers of other genres, romantic comedy Anyone But You, Michael Mann biopic Ferrari, and Taika Waititi football comedy Next Goal Wins round out the month.

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