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HOLIDAY BOX OFFICE RECOVERS AFTER EARLY STUMBLE


January 1, 2023 by Mitch Metcalf

After a very sluggish pre-Christmas start (down -36% from last year), this year’s key holiday period between Christmas and New Year’s Day rallied to a +5% increase over last year and nearly matched 2021.


Since the pandemic lockdown, the days between Christmas and New Year’s appear to be settling into a fairly reliable $300 million in box office, averaging nearly $40 million a day for eight days.


Although this is down from the $442 million average pre-pandemic (and an amazing $55 million daily haul for those eight days), this time of year remains a relatively high-demand period at the cinema.


More difficult is the mid-December to Christmas Eve period, which is dependent on one very big anchor film. While Wonka did not perform like a big franchise movie out of the gate, it kept performing solidly each day and became an into an effective backbone for the entire holiday season from Christmas Day onward.



Below is a look at the details for each of the last 22 holiday seasons, highlighted by 2015 (the #1 holiday season with over $1 billion in box office between December 17 and January 1).


Set aside the 2020 season, a complete anomaly as most theaters were locked shut.


The closest comp to 2023 is way back in 2008, when Marley & Me and Bedtime Stories played well day after day without the help of a big science fiction, fantasy or comic book IP driving the box office.


 

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