The Motion Picture Association released its analysis of box office receipts for 2020, and the news was even worse than many feared. For the first time, online subscribers crossed 1 billion to hit 1.1 billion, a 26% spike year over year. In the U.S., there were 306.8 million subscriptions, an increase of 32%. All together, mobile and home entertainment brought in $68.8 billion last year, an increase of 23% over 2019.
The box office, meanwhile, dropped to $2.2 billion in the U.S., a drop of 80%. Globally, the B.O. brought in $12 billion, a decrease of 72%. For the first time, China surpassed North America, with $3 billion worth of receipts.
“The past year was challenging for the global economy, and for virtually every aspect of our daily lives: the staggering loss of life, the toll on our frontline workers, the devastating and widespread loss of jobs and businesses, and the almost complete shutdown of many industries,” MPA chairman-CEO Charles Rivkin said in his letter introducing the 60 page-plus report.
“Our workforce was not immune: Jobs were lost, productions were either curtailed or shut down, and movie theaters shuttered around the globe,” Rivkin continued. “But, during an otherwise punishing year for theatrical exhibition and our industry at large, home and curated entertainment boomed. The good news wasn’t just confined to homes, laptops, and other personal devices. As recent stories have shown, audiences never lost their appetite to enjoy the theatrical experience, and drive-in theaters enjoyed their highest returns in decades.”
Bad Boys for Life, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence and released in January of 2020, topped the box office for the year, with $206.5 million in receipts. Sonic the Hedgehog came in second with $146.07 million.