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APAC box office down 91.9% YOY despite recovery in film releases

S&P Global Market Intelligence is resuming the publication of its global monthly series on film revenue in different regions. Publication for each featured region is dependent upon sufficient box office data as theaters reopen on different timelines in various parts of the globe following pandemic-related shutdowns in early 2020.

Asia-Pacific box office revenues fell 91.9% year over year in the first six months of 2020 to US$603.1 million, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and OPUSData, despite the number of film releases seemingly beginning to recover.

The number of films released in June was down 59.1% year over year, an improvement from April and May's respective 72.1% and 78.2% year-over-year declines. Releases in South Korea have remained relatively stable since January, when the spread of coronavirus began to impact local markets, while Australia and Japan are showing the clearest signs of recovery.

Australia saw 17 films released in June, compared with two in May and zero in April. Japan saw nine in June, up from two in May and one in April.

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In the first half, South Korea saw the highest number of film releases at 194. Zombie thriller "#Alive," produced by Spackman Entertainment Group Ltd. and distributed by Lotte Cultureworks Co. Ltd., grossed US$8.27 million as of July 1, according to Screen Daily. The movie debuted in the country on June 24. The first-half box office is topped by January releases, however.

South Korea's box office grossed US$181.3 million in the first half, down 78.5% year over year.

Elsewhere in the region, January and February movies also continued to top box office revenues.

Japan topped the region with gross box office revenue of US$216.1 million in the six months of the year, down 75.4% year over year. Oscar-winning Korean film, "Gisaengchung," also known as "Parasite," contributed US$43.9 million, with 50 movies screened during this period.

No new films have been released in China since February, when one new title was screened compared to January's 30. The country continued to see the region's largest fall in year-over-year box office revenues with a 98.3% slump in the six months to June 30.

The country reopened most of its theaters July 20 with capacity capped at 30%, according to China Film Administration.

Australia's cinemas are also in the process of reopening. Palace Cinemas Pty. Ltd. and Wanda Group's Hoyts Cinemas have gradually opened theaters since July 2, according to Gizmodo's report, while Event Cinemas is partly open across the country, according to its website.

The country reported US$116.3 million gross box office revenue in the six months to June 30, down 73% year over year.

Action and adventure remains the most popular genre in Asia-Pacific.

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