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The 3Q22 Box Office and The Regal Saga: The Black Panther and Avatar to the Rescue

Thomas Paulson
Oct 21, 2022
The 3Q22 Box Office and The Regal Saga: The Black Panther and Avatar to the Rescue

  • As we've previously discussed, the 3Q22 box office was very soft, reflecting a limited release schedule, with box office receipts down 32% compared to 3Q19. As we previously reported, this was too sharp of a decline for Cineworld / Regal and the company declared bankruptcy and restructuring. The Texas judge denied Cineplex’s request for a $1.2B payment from Cineworld, which is a positive for Regal’s financial conditions and ability to pay rent. Cineplex has also approached Cineworld’s lenders about taking over the Regal chain. This may happen, but only after all of Regal’s liabilities are addressed.
  • 4Q22 represents the "re-reopening" of the release schedule and the box office should remain strong through 1H23. This quarter will see the release of Avatar 2, Black Panther 2, and Black Adam, and those releases amongst others are expected to yield a 10%+ increase in box office revenue year-over-year.
  • The spillover from 4Q22’s releases, as well as the new releases Ant-Man 3, Shazam!, and Creed 3 should drive 1Q23 box office revenue up 5%+ YoY to $1.4B. That is still far below the typical first-quarter level of $2.6B that industry saw pre-pandemic, and so attendance levels have a lot of headroom to improve.
  • While 2Q23 faces difficult compares (Top Gun, Jurassic, Doctor Strange, and Sonic) there are a large number of tentpole films including Guardians of the Galaxy 3, The Little Mermaid, Fast & Furious 10, Spider-Man, among others. The box office for 2Q23 should be around $2.4B, which is also well below the $3.0B level that was typical pre-pandemic.

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Thomas Paulson

Director of Research and Business Development, Placer.ai

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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