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An important 2019

This past year saw an overall growth, closing with two very promising months for the Italian movie industry. Our analysis...

On January 2nd 2019, the title to our round-up article for the year recited “2018: bad for the general box office, better for the Italian movie industry”. A year has passed, and we must note how 2019 saw a different situation, definitely a more positive one. It’s trivially true that a truly important year cannot do without the twofold success of the American and Italian movie industries.

Without further ado, let’s see what were the top 20 box office successes of 2019 (here the interactive infographic):

Then, by way of comparison, here’s the top 20 from 2018 (here the interactive version):

In other words, 2019 saw two movies grossing over 30 millions (which hasn’t happened since 2010) and a title like Joker that came really close. 2018 had only one title that slightly exceeded the 20 million mark, Bohemian Rhapsody (even though it went on to continue its excellent run in 2019, reaching a total of 29 million). In addition, there were 8 movies that exceeded the 10 million threshold, against the 16 titles of 2019, a record number that had never happened in this millennium.

Let’s move on to the box office summary of the past ten years (click here for the interactive version):

It’s important to remember that these are Cinetel data, and are still slightly incomplete (the definitive version will be available in a few months). It shows a strong growth compared to 2017 and 2018, but if we take the last ten years into consideration, then we’re in fifth place. It’s a really positive news that the box office increased compared to the disastrous 2018, and also 2017. On the other hand, the hope is that this will be a stepping stone for an even richer 2020, seeing that one can and indeed one must not be content with these numbers.

Especially since these data are the result of a record 2019 for Walt Disney (which we’ve anticipated many times before, although it wasn’t a difficult prediction) that saw a grossing of 170 million from January 1st to December 31st (also an all-time record), also linked to the company’s need to have a strong offer for its newly formed Disney+ platform. It’s a status that won’t happen again, and indeed it wouldn’t be a surprise if the overall 2020 data for Disney will be inferior to those of 2019, which is an absolutely reasonable outcome.

Let’s move on to the the number of sold tickets (here the interactive version):

To understand what the final Siae amount will be, we have to take into account the fact that in 2018 Cinetel’s recorded tickets were 85.936.642, against the Siae’s real number of 91.687.699, a +6,6% increase. If this year follows the same trend, we’d close with about 104 million Siae tickets.

If we consider the last ten years, we’re still in fifth place: it’s still a satisfactory achievement compared to the last two years and – as we’ve said before – the Siae data will definitely show the passing of the 100 million mark in terms of sold tickets, a result that should not have been taken for granted after a deeply disturbing first trimester. But we run the risk of getting used to the fact that, even in the best of seasons, the 100-110 million mark of sold tickets could basically be the best “level” our Market can reach (which should be 120-130 million), even with the release of event movies that could achieve huge revenues.

Let’s now take a look at the quota for the Italian cinema (here you’ll find the interactive version):

We were truly ready to point out a return below the psychological 20% threshold (my bad, I’ve been saying this for months, evidently acting too hastily and with too much confidence). In reality, thanks to the excellent results of our Christmas titles, we exceed that 20% mark, although it doesn’t mean we’re not dealing with the second worst result of the last ten years. The first semester was certainly a disaster (as were the first ten months of the year), then came a radical change: November (29,1% of Italian quota) and December (43,5%) were really positive months for our product, with no fewer than five movies exceeding the 5 million mark (with one title, Cetto c’è, senzadubbiamente, that will eventually reach this milestone thanks to additional 2020 revenues). Zalone’s debut was obviously massive (no one does it like him) and several other upcoming titles promise to achieve important results as well (we’re obviously thinking about Muccino’s Gli anni più belli).

It’s also useful to see what were the total revenues of the Italian movie industry, which can show different results compared to the quota (here the interactive):

Indeed, this is helpful to understand that, as far as revenues go, the Italian cinema did better compared to 2018, and that the quota decline it’s entirely due to a sharp increase of the overall revenues. It would therefore be a bit absurd to be critical of the result of our production, after being more “positive” in 2018. And obviously, it’s advisable to have a historical record, and pay more attention to the first six years of the millennium, which -as shown by the infographic- were all below the 20% threshold. Bearing in mind that, even with this benchmark, we’re still talking about the third worst result over the last ten years.

It goes without saying that the American movie industry was the undisputed ruler, as we can see from this infographic (here the interactive version):

In short, we’re dealing with a record year for American productions, considering it’s the third best result from 1999 onward. With respect to other film industries, England is in third place, as per usual, with 6,48%, but it’s obviously thanks to Hollywood products like Bohemian Rhapsody and Pokemon Detective Pikachu (Downton Abbey is the first result that could be considered truly British, with 2,9 millions). Fourth place for France, with 3,40%, especially thanks to the success of Mia e il leone bianco (5,7 millions). Interestingly enough, the fifth place goes to Japan (0,71%), thanks to Dragon Ball Super: Broly – Il Film (2,4 millions).

We’ll examine other important data tomorrow. In the meantime, what should we expect from 2020? Definitely a strong start for the entire industry (especially, and obviously, the Italian one), thanks to Zalone, who already broke every record just yesterday. But seeing how the 2020 summer will hold up will be crucial, having to deal with highly anticipated events like the European Football Championship and the Olympics. It would be important to continue to grow this year as well. We’ll see whether we’ll succeed….

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