The Global Box Office 2021: Disney is the “King of the Box Office”

The box office for 2021 amounted to over $ 21 billion. This is much more than the first pandemic year, but cinemas still don’t have much to celebrate. Disney, Sony, Universal, or Warner Bros. still rule a kingdom that is half the size of before the pandemic, despite the success of Spider-Man: No Way Home.

The new Spider-Man movie is the undisputed hit of last year’s box office, thanks to which Disney and Sony closed this period in much better moods. It is no coincidence that these two labels have had their best twelve months in all of Hollywood. Both got much more hits than mishaps and adopted a better VOD distribution model than their competitors. So the results of their films in cinemas and streaming did not cannibalize each other. Warner Bros. he took a different path and is just experiencing the tragic result of the “Matrix of Resurrection”.


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On the other hand, the success of Spider-Man: No Way Home obscures the overall picture a bit. The global box office was very mediocre for most of 2021, and the subsequent covid variants and the resulting limitations of cinema capacity do not give much hope for a much better future. It is better than two years ago, but still very far from the peaks reached between 2017 and 2019.

The global box office in 2021 has reached the level of USD 21.4 billion. Disney is the “King of the Box Office”

Is $ 21.4 billion a good result? It depends on how you look at it. On the one hand, this means an annual increase of 78%. compared to 2020. According to the Deadline portal, in the case of Disney or Sony, this result is even better and clearly exceeds 100 percent. At the same time, it must not be forgotten that these positive increases are the aftermath of the absolute conflagration that prevailed in cinemas two years ago. The beginning of the pandemic was a real disaster for almost the entire industry. Only VOD services did well, but they were also hit by the crisis over time.

Spiderman: No Way Home, a box office hitIf we look a bit wider at the results from the last few years, over $ 20 billion seems to be an extremely miserable achievement. The global average before the pandemic was 41.3 billion, making Hollywood run half the former kingdom. And even that is not entirely true. China turned out to be the largest single market for the second time in a row, adding 7.4 billion dollars to the overall figure. But what if the vast majority of this money went to local productions that could not be seen anywhere outside of Asia? Lots of Hollywood hits in the Middle Kingdom were not allowed at all, others were delayed by weeks and did not record much success with the Chinese audience.

Disney grossed $ 2.905 billion, but didn’t make it far to the peloton of Sony, Universal and Warner Bros.

Among the most-watched productions of Mickey Mouse in 2021, we will find such titles as “Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings”, “Eternals”, “Free Guy” or “Black Widow”. Many of these films also had the largest budget and a well-developed marketing campaign, which is why their box office results of around $ 400 million are far from outstanding. Only “Shang-Chi” has received the official announcement of its sequel so far, and this is a good indicator of the real status of a given brand. Either way, Disney managed just over 27 percent of the market in 2021.

The next places are Sony ($ 2.431 billion), Universal ($ 2.396 billion) and Warner Bros. (2.259 billion). As you can see, the differences between these companies are slight. Their loss to Disney is a bit more, but the owner of Star Wars and Marvel is still definitely in range. One hit in the region of $ 500 million is enough and you can dethrone the king. Another thing is that in a pandemic such achievement is rare.

The Matrix: Resurrection – a box office failure


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Only Sony did it, which spent most of the year spinning tails with Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate. It was only the phenomenal results of “Venom 2: Carnage” and “Spider-No Road Home” from the fall and the Christmas period that the label instantly rose to 2nd place in the ranking. Based on this example, theoretically, one can draw positive conclusions for 2022, but this is a false belief. There is more than one “Resurrection Matrix” for every Venom 2. There will be no shortage of similar disappointments in the coming months and only superheroes can count on relatively safe earnings. With cinemas vaccinating completely, distributors and production companies cannot count on more.

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