The COVID-19 pandemic dealt a brutal blow to the movie industry in 2020. Domestic box office levels were over $11 billion a year in the previous five. The number dropped 81% to $2.1 billion in 2020, as many theaters were closed much of the year. It recovered by 113% to $4.5 billion, a number which was still too low to keep many theaters from closing permanently.
So far in 2022, domestic box office has been $4.5 billion. With any luck, that could get closer to $7 billion.
Theater ticket sales have also been undermined by the rapid growth of streaming. This was only accelerated when people had to stay home during the worst of the pandemic. Some major movie releases even went straight to the streaming market, leaving out theater releases altogether.
One sign of health is that six movies have had box office revenue of over $250 million this year. Several are sequels, which include “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Thor: Love and Thunder.” Because these were released recently, their box office sales could move above $500 million.
The most successful movie released this year is also a sequel. “Top Gun: Maverick” is a follow on “Top Gun” which was released in 1986. The number of years between them may be a record for sequels. Nevertheless, the movie’s gross so far this year which puts it No 1. is $626 million. Tom Cruise was 58 years old when he made the current film. He was well younger than 30 when the first installment was released.
If there is another “Top Gun” film, it may be made when Cruise is in his 70s.
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