The American Box Office Just Won A Huge Victory
Hopefully, one of many!
The North American box office has beaten China as the global box office champion after China was top of the pile for two years. The pandemic had quite a few consequences for Hollywood, not the least of which was plummeting ticket sales and movie production schedules being delayed over and over again. With things returning to some sense of normalcy, the US is back in action when it comes to bringing in the highest box office numbers in the first half of 2022.
In the first half of 2022, China only managed to pull in $2.6 billion in box office dollars. This is a 38% drop compared to the numbers they put up in the first half of 2021. The omicron-variant of COVID can be partially held to blame, as this caused China to completely lock down some major cities. Add to the fact that the political relations between China and the US led to fewer China-releases of major Hollywood blockbusters, and you have a recipe for significantly poorer movie attendance.
The North American box office, on the other hand, had quite a robust first half of the year. Movies like Top Gun: Maverick and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness absolutely crushed it at the box office, both domestically and worldwide. Top Gun: Maverick managed to top $1 billion worldwide and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness came up just short of the $1 billion mark. The newly released Jurassic World Dominion has already hit $831 million and counting. Movies like Top Gun: Maverick and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness also missed a China release, due to political reasons. High-profile films like these have brought the first-half total box office numbers for North America up to $3.7 billion, which is more than a billion more than China’s numbers.
On the other hand, these limited China releases, ongoing pandemic issues, and the relations between the US and China have led to US films released in China making less money than ever. US films in China have only managed to pull in $400 million in H1. For comparison, US films pulled in $1.9 billion from China in the pre-pandemic days of 2019 H1. Still, this puts the US in a better global position than China. China’s highest-grossing film this year is The Battle at Lake Changjin II, which pulled in $626 million. This is impressive for domestic numbers, but China’s films can’t keep up on an international scale when compared to the movies coming out of Hollywood. Battle at Lake Changjin II pulled in less than $1 million in countries outside of China. Compare that to the current US domestic winner of the year, Top Gun: Maverick, which pulled in $544.5 million in foreign markets. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness had a similar foreign market haul, pulling in $542.4 million.
If things continue to go this way, North America shouldn’t have any problems holding on to the box office belt. People are continuing to come to the movie in droves, and there are still plenty of huge blockbusters coming out. Films like Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Avatar: The Way of Water are all expected to do big numbers before the year is done.