A few days before the New Year, theatrical receipts in the United States are down 80% in 2020 compared to those in 2019.
Holiday weekend for open cinemas around the world. If in France theaters are at a standstill, this is not the case everywhere, especially in the United States and Japan. The new releases were therefore able to take advantage of the end of year celebrations to garner some revenue. Wonder Woman 1984 and animated films Drunk and Demon slayer thus fared well in this complex period.
According to results reported by Warner Bros, Wonder Woman 1984 grossed $ 36.1 million at the box office, including $ 16.7 million from US and Canadian cinemas. If this is a record in North America since theaters have been closed due to the pandemic, these results are however very far from the 103 million dollars collected in 2017 during the first weekend for the first film from the franchise. To compensate for the closure of two-thirds of cinemas in the United States and Canada, Warner Bros. opted for a concomitant release in theaters and on the streaming service HBO Max. The film had also been released ten days earlier in around 30 countries, including China, with more than mixed results.
Without giving precise figures for the North American market, the studios assured that the film could have been watched by millions of people and that it had “Exceeded [les] expectations on the number of views and subscribers during its first 24 hours on the service ”. Warner at the same time confirmed the start of a third installment of the adventures of the Amazon by Gal Gadot, still directed by Patty Jenkins, for a release date still unknown.
These mixed figures are however greeted with some relief as the results have been catastrophic in the United States since the start of the year. Less than a week before the New Year, cumulative theatrical receipts painfully reached $ 2.3 billion, down 80% compared to 2019.
Princess Diana faced the latest Pixar studios in many countries, Drunk. Adapting to the conditions of each country, Disney has chosen sometimes to broadcast this animated film on its Disney + streaming platform, as in France, and sometimes to program it in theaters, as in the United States. The story of this music teacher seeking to make sense of his life has grossed $ 7.6 million in North American theaters and Disney + has not yet released streaming sales results.
In Japan, however, it’s another animated film that’s causing a stir. Demon slayer landed an all-time high by breaking the record for the most profitable cartoon in theaters. By racking up 32.5 billion yen (257 million euros) in revenue since its release in Japan in October and attracting more than 24 million viewers, the film adapted from a blockbuster manga does better than Spirited away. In 2001, Hayao Miyazaki’s story garnered 31.7 billion yen in theaters in Japan.
Demon slayer, produced by the Japanese giant Sony’s Aniplex studio, tells the story of Tanjiro, a teenager living in Japan during the Taisho era (1912-1926), who becomes a demon hunter after the slaughter of his family by these thirsty creatures of human blood. The work combines the hero’s initiatory journey, a recurring theme in manga for adolescents, with positive values such as brotherly love, friendship and the struggle of good against evil, which warmed the hearts of Japanese spectators in the midst of pandemic.
Demon slayer is also already broadcast elsewhere in Asia and its release is scheduled for 2021 in the United States and Europe. According to the Dai-ichi Life research institute, the franchise has already generated 270 billion yen (2.1 billion euros) by taking into account theatrical admissions, manga sales and many derivative products.