Latest figures from Gower Street Analytics suggest that global box office for 2023 reach $33,9 billion, a 30.5 per cent increase on 2022 and a significant further step on the road to recovery post the COVID pandemic.

Gower Street estimate that the international market (excluding China) generated around $17.1 billion in 2023, a 20 per cent gain on 2022, albeit still 15 per cent down on the 2017-2019 average.

Within that market, the three key regions – Europe, Middle East and Africa – all made significant year-on-year gains, and taken as a whole accounted for 26.5 per cent of global box office, a slight reduction on the 2022 figure of 27.7 per cent.

Although there were points in the year when a number of major international territories, including China, Japan and Germany were tracking ahead of their pre-pandemic three -year average,  the only top 15 market to finish 2023 ahead of this measure was the Netherlands (up 3 per cent).

There were however strong signs that global audience levels had returned to pre-pandemic levels in the Summer, with both July (+17 per cent) and August (+1 per cent) tracking ahead of the 2017-2019 global averages.

July was also the first post-pandemic month to witness the domestic, China, and international (excluding. China) markets all outperform those three-year averages – +10 per cent, +7 per cent and +53 per cent respectively – driven in the main by the record-breaking success of Barbie and Oppenheimer in many territories, and confirming that where a competitive release calendar and attractive content were on offer, so too were audiences.

Figures for the UK will be released shortly.