Analysts Predict Strong Box Office Rebound in 2022
Earlier this Spring we shared the news that Disney had made the decision to release upcoming titles like Cruella and Black Widow on Disney+ as well as in theaters leading many to take this as a sign that theaters are taking a little line to rebound from the COVID-19 virus than expected.
However, according to a recent piece in DEADLINES projections for the future of movie theaters still remains positive. Several Wall Street analysts are predicting that move-going will return to robust levels in 2022.
According to analyst Eric Handler, a survey of 1,000 moviegoers from across the US conducted by his firm MKM partners had some interesting findings. Of those surveyed that saw at least 1 film in theaters the year before COVID-19 came out, when asked if they plan to return to the theaters in the near future, 57% said yes, 14% said no and 29% were not sure.
In terms of “when” guest will feel comfortable returning to the theaters, 46% indicated that they hope to return in the next three months and 72% within the next six months.
“The theatrical moviegoing experience is in the early stages of a recovery,” Handler wrote, “one which will take a good amount of this year to fully play out.”
According to the piece in DEADLINE, Eric Wold at B. Riley expects box office to rise 6% in 2023 compared with 2019 as the industry fully regains its footing after the pandemic. Wold also went on to call the theatrical film slate through 2023, “nothing short of amazing” given how many top titles have been delayed. He also points to California’s plan to allow theaters to open at 100% capacity beginning June 15 as a reason for optimism.
“With the focus of the industry recovery shifted to [the second half of 2021] and 2022, we believe as long as companies have enough liquidity to make it to the fall/winter slate, then balance sheets become a relative non-event vs. moved stocks in the heart of the pandemic last year,” Wold wrote. “At this point, we are comfortable that each of the companies in our coverage universe has the appropriate liquidity—especially with the positive moves made by AMC to drive $900 million-plus in additional financing secured since mid-December and the upcoming opportunity to further de-lever the balance sheet.”
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