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Box Office Heating Up: "Koopa de Foudre" as Audiences Fall in Love with Mario

Thomas Paulson
Apr 14, 2023
Box Office Heating Up: "Koopa de Foudre" as Audiences Fall in Love with Mario

  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie ($147M opening) is on its way to a $350M+ domestic box office. Ant-Man ($106M opening) is on track for a $213M domestic box office. John Wick: Chapter 4: ($74M opening) is on its way to $250M+ in domestic box office. Creed III ($58M opening) could reach $154M in domestic box office. In sum, Q1 2023 produced $1.7B in box office receipts (versus $2.4B in Q1 2019). The quarter was still inhibited by fewer releases with only 26 wide releases compared to 34 in 2019. Q2 is going to be bigger, driven by tent poles Guardians of the Galaxy, The Little Mermaid, Spider-Man, Indiana Jones, Elemental, Transformers, The Flash, and more.
  • Apple and Amazon are reportedly considering producing more for the box office; including a rumored $1B budget by Apple for production and promotion. As evidence of that intent, Apple said it would debut Martin Scorsese’s highly anticipated film Killers of the Flower Mood in wide release before its streams on Apple TV+. We would also highlight Amazon’s recently release Air which has garnered rave reviews. Amazon and MGM is targeting a production program of 15 wide releases annually.
  • Warner Bros. new CEO David Zaslav has moved to Hollywood to mend fences with its creator community, promising long theatrical windows and big promotional spending. And so more and more big releases are being planned. Recall our recent comments on Warner Bros. and its pivot from DTC.
  • Talent agency UTA reported on a consumer poll regarding the box office recovery. 75% of the nearly 2,000 respondents say they planned to maintain / increase their moving going this year and 33% said “more.”
  • Estimates for the year’s box office are now nearing $9B (versus $11.4B in 2019). 2024 will be up from 2023 with more wide releases including Kung Fu Panda, Snow White, Spider-Man, Captain America, Mission: Impossible, Mufasa: The Lion King, and Avatar 3. 2025 will again see more wide releases which may drive the box office finally above 2019.
  • Cineworld has reached agreements with 83% of its loans in a debt-for-equity swap and it seeks to emerge from bankruptcy.
  • In terms of performance by brand, one can see that Cinemark has once again outperformed, which we suspect is the result of an improved theater experience and in-migration to its markets – all of which we detailed in our report on the industry. Given its modest audience decline, it looks like Cinemark may be able to produce Q1 domestic revenue that is above ‘19 level when accounting for higher ticket prices and concession spend. For Q4, these were up +19% and +39% respectively to ‘19, on a per-admission basis. (Concession revenue is 40% of the revenue mix. )

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Thomas Paulson

Director of Research and Business Development,

Thomas Paulson spent 20 years as a Wall Street analyst and a member of asset management teams at AllianceBernstein and Cornerstone Capital, representing top-50 ownership positions including Target, Home Depot, Nike, Amazon, Google, and many more. He brings consumer related expertise and knowledge of enterprises in retail, CPG, financial services, telecom, and entertainment.

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