The New Theatrical Normal?

2020 has been an interesting year: wildfires in the Australian bush; Prince Harry and Meghan Markle conduct their own Brexit; murder hornets; wildfires in the Western US; and Zoom surpassed Skype as the most popular personal Web conferencing application. That last one may have been helped along by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the audiovisual entertainment world, stay-at-home orders and social distancing have led to renewed interest in terrestrial over-the-air broadcast television and have been a boon for video streaming services – OTT really has gone over the top.

2020 has also been the most difficult time for the theatrical market since the two World Wars. In both World Wars, the European movie industry was devastated while the US industry was left largely untouched. This led directly to a shift from a European-led silent film era before World War I to the domination of the US studios by the end of World War II. Oceans could not protect the US this time, so it has joined in the production and box office slump that has spanned the globe.

While 2020 was definitely an off-year, the theatrical market has persevered. Our friends at Nash Information Services (home of The Numbers and Opus Data) compiled a report of the top 100 2019 and 2020 box office performers in the US domestic theatrical market.[1] All told, 2020 is shaping up to total 12% of 2019’s gross, with 84 of the 2020 films grossing below the lowest performer from 2019. 2020’s top 5 all had January or February releases, while 2020’s top performer, Bad Boys for Life, would have come in at number 12 in 2019. Tenent, summer’s big hope with an early August release, earned less than $58 million US. This earned it the number 8 slot for 2020, but would have been would have placed it at number 49 in 2019.

This has all been grim news for theater owners and theatrical producers, but with vaccines already being administered in the UK and the rest of the world soon to follow, the dawn will soon come. When restrictions on theatrical operations lift, the pent up demand from people who have been forced to stay home entertaining each other should drive a brisk theatrical market. Dinner and a movie will return as the go-to date night option, replacing Codenames via Skype, which is fun and all, but not nearly the same thing.

So, congratulations to those movies that managed a theatrical run in 2020 and here’s to a superior 2021 in all respects.

USA Top 100: 2020

Rank Title EIDR ID
1 Bad Boys For Life 10.5240/E987-C6C0-06D9-7659-23CD-H
2 Sonic The Hedgehog 10.5240/B71D-E836-73E6-9C8F-3700-I
3 Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) 10.5240/A8F0-D534-C63E-6237-4D1C-W
4 Dolittle 10.5240/C039-BF6A-6664-FB8D-92F1-7
5 The Invisible Man 10.5240/6771-E05C-2130-A98D-5EE3-I
6 The Call of the Wild 10.5240/6B0D-47C1-0097-E1F3-8F0F-R
7 Onward 10.5240/E2F0-B13C-7FC1-0941-B979-P
8 Tenet 10.5240/1654-3307-7C31-D453-B702-X
9 The Gentlemen 10.5240/8514-32A6-3480-3FFC-3092-8
10 Fantasy Island 10.5240/A138-6AED-FF5D-5D59-28F6-7
11 The New Mutants 10.5240/1E4D-80F5-FCBD-EDAA-8934-7
12 Like a Boss 10.5240/71BC-1DD2-1892-5E6C-49F6-E
13 The Grudge 10.5240/33A2-DF1E-0369-B101-1557-8
14 Unhinged 10.5240/DFCA-F244-966B-E7FF-1CE5-0
15 The Croods: A New Age 10.5240/6904-C4AA-09D8-0358-8E2D-2
16 The Photograph 10.5240/60B4-2311-EEA5-CCE8-98CB-Q
17 The War with Grandpa 10.5240/524F-9B57-5289-D954-B2F6-0
18 Underwater 10.5240/0749-B081-6880-24EB-C299-F
19 The Turning 10.5240/46D9-3271-C6AE-4567-D4D7-5
20 Gretel & Hansel 10.5240/EDEC-B896-C249-C4C9-99C5-H
21 Honest Thief 10.5240/3109-00E8-08FD-47FB-C0A3-J
22 The Way Back 10.5240/BE57-E03F-79D3-678D-A0D7-7
23 Boku no Hīrō Akademia The Movie Hīrōzu: Raijingu 10.5240/C971-3254-2E3C-C56C-289D-A
24 Brahms: The Boy II 10.5240/136E-A5BB-F4CC-B1E8-2D78-4
25 Impractical Jokers: The Movie 10.5240/9DFD-1374-BF3C-20A8-5BD0-G
26 I Still Believe 10.5240/AD0C-1E29-DC67-F3B2-8584-7
27 Emma. 10.5240/1389-FB29-72CE-79B7-70EA-E
28 Bloodshot 10.5240/68F5-97F5-F938-8535-4E3C-P
29 Let Him Go 10.5240/2865-5F91-D67E-B1B6-C46D-K
30 Come Play 10.5240/2657-E4B4-F35E-9A89-6811-A
31 Downhill 10.5240/7FC9-4B9F-8802-9F81-D56C-N
32 Freaky 10.5240/645A-FAC7-C873-48A4-7E08-W
33 Tenki no Ko 10.5240/555D-2249-0F7C-822A-63C1-Q
34 The Hunt 10.5240/2B14-6083-40E2-C69D-56DB-9
35 The Rhythm Section 10.5240/7392-BBED-D2B8-3BA3-66EB-D
36 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run 10.5240/C0D7-4BEE-B92B-447F-2F28-N
37 The Broken Hearts Gallery 10.5240/138E-F8C1-A35C-2718-1B00-I
38 Infidel 10.5240/345E-8622-C1F9-B664-F694-9
39 Portrait de la jeune fille en feu 10.5240/769F-CBD4-B8A1-C08D-492D-Z
40 Bill & Ted Face the Music 10.5240/1E4F-0724-9496-5D44-D89C-0
41 2020 Oscar Shorts 10.5240/0428-3FBD-6443-066D-0888-8

42 The Empty Man 10.5240/23D5-93DF-8C24-956B-E380-3
43 Las Pildoras De Mi Novio 10.5240/08E3-3B9E-4AAD-201C-A3A7-4
44 The Last Full Measure 10.5240/1A37-C5D4-76D7-89AA-8827-O
45 Words on Bathroom Walls 10.5240/A28F-0272-08B5-BAAD-68CD-A
46 After We Collided 10.5240/686F-4BB4-3CA0-5553-734C-Q
47 The Lodge 10.5240/9482-E1B1-83C3-0263-756B-7
48 The Personal History of David Copperfield 10.5240/B5BA-ED81-2D42-FD22-0C94-I
49 The Wretched 10.5240/0A9C-33B7-5BC2-6A23-E4C5-Y
50 The Rental 10.5240/9377-0610-4458-D6C3-887D-8
51 2 Hearts 10.5240/88CB-17FE-8CA8-A2B8-3A88-H
52 Ban-do 10.5240/2925-E906-F594-9FAE-F5F3-6
53 Met Opera — Agrippina 10.5240/A19C-FA69-D097-03FE-0888-7
54 True to the Game 2: Gena’s Story 10.5240/6E75-54E1-D100-22DA-E8DB-N
55 The Assistant 10.5240/72BF-EA98-AE62-7658-013E-8
56 Love and Monsters 10.5240/D030-C404-092B-2F0D-5FCF-0
57 Relic 10.5240/D03A-0CB8-8DE2-6D8E-EAC7-Z
58 Becky 10.5240/610C-34E1-8D5F-EC12-0D21-Q
59 Beureikeu deo sa illeonseu 10.5240/39F1-63EA-5224-33B6-5AB3-Q
60 The Tax Collector 10.5240/8006-837C-D4BB-ACF5-DB01-C
61 Met Opera: Wozzeck 10.5240/84F3-AD0D-5334-92A1-B20A-A
62 Cut Throat City 10.5240/B92B-57F3-83C2-92C4-D0BF-C
63 Sarileru Neekevvaru 10.5240/C409-281F-68AC-43AE-A119-7
64 Half Brothers 10.5240/335A-0485-3924-A253-0403-7
65 Ji Xian Feng 10.5240/0F7E-E341-380F-2365-7986-U
66 Color Out of Space 10.5240/A55D-3854-B2B6-FF4E-17BE-3
67 Shortcut 10.5240/941F-78DD-34F3-8B71-60FB-S
68 Possessor 10.5240/A72D-694F-3DC6-B921-B527-W
69 Baaghi 3 10.5240/87FE-056C-1E60-ED4C-5521-1
70 The Last Shift 10.5240/D7FC-B812-74F8-01DB-AC03-B
71 Synchronic 10.5240/DB11-C150-46F5-FCBF-21A3-U
72 The Last Vermeer 10.5240/656D-2172-ECB0-FD92-0B03-B
73 Chhapaak 10.5240/F19B-53B0-E55C-E279-AD79-P
74 Panga 10.5240/90C5-B93A-34F4-DD80-A261-R
75 Alone 10.5240/2768-8A41-FE48-D9E3-8E84-B
76 Followed 10.5240/BCC5-C2A7-91FA-8AF0-1CB7-Y
77 Kajillionaire 10.5240/1735-1DDC-D724-F42E-BE7A-7
78 The Call 10.5240/8841-AA14-8A7B-9DBA-9503-T
79 The Big Ugly 10.5240/2FEE-4221-FBBE-C191-8333-X
80 Spell 10.5240/C972-F2E9-B434-2F46-3012-D
81 Ava 10.5240/D76C-5117-8BB5-FD68-7486-X
82 CatVideoFest 10.5240/00DD-DDA6-7948-71C4-CCE5-V
83 Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band 10.5240/9F9E-0159-0BD9-A196-2FB0-Q
84 Seberg 10.5240/FBB8-9AD6-85A6-1894-B116-D
85 All My Life 10.5240/E95E-6211-3B44-B917-A7E5-C
86 Infamous 10.5240/CD33-279A-580A-DFF7-4528-B
87 Tulsa 10.5240/C37D-A6E8-91F5-D01B-6E2C-R
88 Buddy Games 10.5240/FD84-599E-5A7E-C0E8-720F-U
89 Yellow Rose 10.5240/FB1E-1A21-B0E3-51A7-64D8-2
90 The Kid Detective 10.5240/2198-2AF5-CFA8-0B49-6AAC-9
91 The Forgotten Carols 10.5240/AC57-FB5A-C4A0-8541-BFB2-Y
92 Greed 10.5240/8118-709A-C422-A504-0FEB-T
93 Kimi to, nami ni noretara 10.5240/378D-4717-18AF-00F0-970B-R
94 Les misérables 10.5240/7FD4-77EC-0EEE-059E-3D2A-3
95 Ordinary Love 10.5240/2779-2D38-6C85-717A-B774-0
96 Save Yourselves! 10.5240/4F19-D355-E605-D4A2-6146-5
97 The Informer 10.5240/4327-4D3C-DC58-0D7F-E0E5-4
98 Il Traditore 10.5240/3713-118C-0609-B576-6C28-R
99 Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words 10.5240/65FD-32E5-58C0-8062-1FB8-N
100 Mafia, Inc. 10.5240/A869-0F51-F142-421E-B8C0-C

USA Top 100: 2019

Rank Title EIDR ID
1 Avengers: Endgame 10.5240/ACF2-FF3C-9F47-02A0-EA40-H
2 The Lion King 10.5240/5507-0F49-05B6-B6A7-AD68-M
3 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker 10.5240/8805-D5B9-3435-1B99-E538-L
4 Frozen II 10.5240/0553-AE1D-9750-D9C7-6806-I
5 Toy Story 4 10.5240/E4AD-FDCE-90CB-792C-DEF1-E
6 Captain Marvel 10.5240/00BA-0C17-A638-72E8-3CED-F
7 Spider-Man: Far From Home 10.5240/C0A2-80E8-E197-76D7-B852-2
8 Aladdin 10.5240/664D-319E-2F11-5A54-F1B2-R
9 Joker 10.5240/5C04-098C-6377-F2C5-51B2-J
10 Jumanji: The Next Level 10.5240/00C3-8EE2-69EC-FFD3-8F04-K
11 It: Chapter Two 10.5240/76B0-9D6A-A337-F7BD-A281-1
12 Us 10.5240/5B09-FC9F-6461-21E0-21AA-5
13 Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw 10.5240/0EBE-34D2-96AF-26A9-C38D-I
14 John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum 10.5240/F040-662A-915F-284A-18FC-T
15 Knives Out 10.5240/D2B2-EC3E-C3DC-D82D-4635-M
16 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World 10.5240/2F83-2FD0-3403-0D8C-DDAA-3
17 1917 10.5240/4511-F2E9-3775-F74D-D5F9-6
18 The Secret Life of Pets 2 10.5240/FA3D-85CC-EA0A-9D6D-A491-M
19 Pokémon: Detective Pikachu 10.5240/48E3-49E8-8340-8C08-A05A-F
20 Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood 10.5240/FEFC-0288-7460-3B05-C9FE-3
21 Shazam! 10.5240/AF13-DD67-BCFA-082C-F783-Z
22 Ford v. Ferrari 10.5240/9BB7-A5A9-A1BD-3394-7170-G
23 Dumbo 10.5240/5ACE-8263-7D9F-DC03-8078-F
24 Maleficent: Mistress of Evil 10.5240/A01F-B576-1531-39F0-1803-S
25 Glass 10.5240/93E7-76DC-4AEA-2611-7924-W
26 Godzilla: King of the Monsters 10.5240/FE28-E1DC-D787-A4FA-629E-W
27 The Upside 10.5240/04A9-B82E-2C3D-EB97-EABC-M
28 Little Women 10.5240/3C87-4906-5868-A350-3F7C-1
29 The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part 10.5240/8B6E-87BD-212A-D1E0-27C4-9
30 Hustlers 10.5240/0A46-49E1-5303-43C6-A6CB-H
31 The Addams Family 10.5240/BDD9-7A8C-9DB5-09E8-21AD-M
32 Downton Abbey 10.5240/6129-F861-21A3-D459-835D-B
33 Rocketman 10.5240/62AC-BE26-55AF-F594-5C63-T
34 Alita: Battle Angel 10.5240/43F5-E2AE-4DF4-1777-063A-B
35 Good Boys 10.5240/DBBB-7FAA-50B3-178E-7641-M
36 Men in Black: International 10.5240/726C-8EF8-E71C-2C85-DA1E-9
37 Annabelle Comes Home 10.5240/6D4C-C0ED-4C85-C338-1D98-F
38 Yesterday 10.5240/1A9B-FF7B-6F14-9322-73A2-C
39 Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral 10.5240/50C8-81A7-DC93-2E35-73BF-Z
40 Zombieland: Double Tap 10.5240/06A1-F7CA-9E1B-E45C-93C0-U
41 Angel Has Fallen 10.5240/C548-D970-8796-446A-BED5-3
42 Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 10.5240/D2A2-341D-0639-D721-F67F-K
43 Spies in Disguise 10.5240/3D6C-E1F1-72AA-E2FC-129F-N
44 Dark Phoenix 10.5240/2F5B-3C82-DDC7-FF05-40BC-J
45 Terminator: Dark Fate 10.5240/4012-828B-1CCB-67F5-F84E-5
46 A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood 10.5240/D1A1-4888-8A79-6347-8EDB-X
47 Abominable 10.5240/AE13-CAB9-4165-B649-A9B4-B
48 Dora and the Lost City of Gold 10.5240/A9DC-13B1-D147-3F28-3CA7-2
49 Escape Room 10.5240/D6FA-1632-6DD1-585A-EAAA-E
50 Midway 10.5240/844A-FDA2-7AAD-F4A0-D851-I
51 The Curse of La Llorona 10.5240/3E8C-009B-BEA5-3B73-0B6D-O
52 Pet Sematary 10.5240/5547-DB71-7C9A-99F8-1BEA-5
53 What Men Want 10.5240/C048-434F-0509-CE45-3521-T
54 Gisaengchung 10.5240/F6B0-A190-C39F-74A7-A0ED-9
55 Ad Astra 10.5240/BDC8-F577-75DE-6AE7-27A3-I
56 Uncut Gems 10.5240/2358-A911-6AA4-19EF-2B09-5
57 Isn’t it Romantic 10.5240/E744-823A-41BD-3C80-005C-F
58 Gemini Man 10.5240/6059-1530-6242-D2A2-647F-P
59 MA 10.5240/B7D4-B400-F024-70D1-CDBE-K
60 Five Feet Apart 10.5240/32AF-B21B-7978-1F75-B53B-6
61 Wonder Park 10.5240/0C7D-4CB6-2751-AAF6-CFF0-V
62 Rambo: Last Blood 10.5240/EA67-1CE1-D084-0FF5-8A97-Z
63 Playing with Fire 10.5240/BE72-BE6E-4F78-AD0D-9047-C
64 Queen & Slim 10.5240/8710-B564-06AC-4C5D-7C57-A
65 Harriet 10.5240/42C2-F1E2-C339-18DA-805E-R
66 A Dog’s Way Home 10.5240/4B1B-69C7-FA20-5D8C-F8FE-B
67 The Angry Birds Movie 2 10.5240/7740-98F1-A905-36E6-5E03-P
68 Little 10.5240/C8BF-AD7D-8E29-77FC-BF3E-8
69 Breakthrough 10.5240/7A11-F1DB-F698-B975-9EB8-B
70 Crawl 10.5240/CEAA-DEA1-F874-017E-CF78-J
71 Just Mercy 10.5240/FB1B-4142-1D5F-BFBB-B7AA-O
72 The Hustle 10.5240/7D48-41D0-C349-6BB8-6B1A-H
73 The Intruder 10.5240/EE84-3E79-19A6-F5B4-3EFA-L
74 Last Christmas 10.5240/0931-C9BE-79EC-E101-0E09-R
75 Overcomer 10.5240/4A88-88CA-4796-98A3-F5C7-6
76 Jojo Rabbit 10.5240/63B7-C3A7-FD84-3A03-F58D-1
77 Cold Pursuit 10.5240/D382-44EF-505E-2230-00F5-E
78 Bombshell 10.5240/5FF0-58DA-640F-D381-91B8-9
79 Doctor Sleep 10.5240/2215-0C83-DB3E-78D6-7742-B
80 Dragon Ball Super: Broly 10.5240/E4BA-C0EF-1DF0-9B4C-6202-W
81 Long Shot 10.5240/0D58-2FD6-6F74-88AB-2ECD-8
82 Child’s Play 10.5240/77FA-741A-4F6D-9761-413B-O
83 Ready or Not 10.5240/570D-47D7-A6E8-C61D-1269-3
84 21 Bridges 10.5240/F4FA-CE58-31D2-80FB-FDF4-X
85 Happy Death Day 2U 10.5240/72CD-0AA3-7C6B-FF5F-52D5-B
86 Midsommar 10.5240/A442-C5B1-D358-0037-E40E-9
87 Cats 10.5240/E3C5-A142-0769-4D55-9EDA-F
88 The Art of Racing in the Rain 10.5240/6492-B62F-F921-A182-E241-N
89 Countdown 10.5240/89BF-125B-D2E9-8497-64DC-7
90 Judy 10.5240/C4ED-ED8E-E217-F82C-7887-F
91 Fighting With My Family 10.5240/4160-449E-5F2A-01F0-0ED1-9
92 A Dog’s Journey 10.5240/419B-BB0F-4891-44AB-4B90-B
93 Booksmart 10.5240/BCB0-7515-C3CE-000C-7CAC-T
94 Stuber 10.5240/1153-14B3-8668-6B80-117C-J
95 Richard Jewell 10.5240/B7A9-38F0-24B9-8256-00BF-B
96 47 Meters Down: Uncaged 10.5240/5DCB-371E-520A-752B-BD98-0
97 Black and Blue 10.5240/194F-58A3-6E30-07AC-5A49-M
98 Hellboy 10.5240/88E8-5205-8CA5-E0FC-47ED-5
99 Shaft 10.5240/2AEA-4F32-A419-A45E-CD68-D
100 The Peanut Butter Falcon 10.5240/1707-B5E3-08B2-FED2-3BF6-A

[1] An important point, these are gross revenues earned during the calendar year rather than revenues over the full run for a film in release during the year.