For the second consecutive year, Spanish movie theaters closed 2022 with a positive balance, after collecting 379 million euros, 49% more than in 2021, and attracting 61.2 million viewers (45%), although the sector continues to 40% below the pre-pandemic figures.
The Spanish Federation of Cinemas (FECE), which represents more than 80% of the country's movie theater businessmen, has presented this Wednesday at the Malaga Festival its official balance for the year 2022, in which it confirms the recovery of the sector, albeit "at a speed slower than is necessary for their survival".
Last year, theaters grew 45% in viewers again and they did so thanks to blockbusters such as Avatar: The Sense of Water, which in 2022 became the best premiere of an international film since April 2019, and Father There Is No más que uno 3, by Santiago Segura, the best premiere of a Spanish film since November 2018.
The general director of FECE, Luis Gil, has also highlighted that for the first time since 2019 the ten most viewed films of the year all exceeded the barrier of 10 million euros in collection.
After Avatar: The Sense of Water, with 21.86 million euros in revenue, the highest grossing films of the year were Minions: The Origin of Gru (20.78 million), Jurassic World: Dominion (18.6 million), Father there is only one 3 (15.6 million) and Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness (13.13 million).
In Spain, Santiago Segura led the national box office for the fourth consecutive year, with 15.61 million euros, ahead of Tadeo Jones 3. The Emerald Table (11.8 million), God's Crooked Lines (5.72 million) , A todo tren 2 (4.47 million) and The fourth passenger (4.33 million).
According to FECE, this 2023 has also started positively thanks to films like "Avatar", released in December and which brought many people to theaters in January, and there have been "some other releases that give hope" to the sector.
"The releases and titles that are yet to come make us confident that we will end the year by reducing that percentage drop compared to the pre-pandemic figure, but we still do not consider that by the end of the year we will have fully recovered those figures," Gil assured.
Spain currently has 732 movie theaters, 3,626 screens and 758,795 seats, figures that have also improved in the last year. However, Gil pointed out, this recovery "continues to be fragile" and there is a risk that the curve will change its trend.
Currently, the community with the highest number of screens is Andalusia (645), followed by Catalonia (626), Madrid (521), the Valencian Community (423) and the Basque Country (196).
However, Madrid takes the lead in terms of revenue and viewers, with 85.4 million euros and 12.3 million people, followed by Catalonia, with 76.4 million at the box office and 11.4 million attendees.
At the European level, according to FECE, the data reflects a behavior similar to Spain in all markets, with strong growth compared to 2021, but without reaching the figures prior to the pandemic.
"In Spain we are not the ones who are worse off," said Luis Gil, who recalled that Italy is still 54.3% below the pre-covid figures and that Greece is 42.77%. The northern countries, on the other hand, "have had a faster recovery."
"We believe that the sector is in a moment of recovery, we trust that it will consolidate and continue at an even faster pace", commented the general director of FECE, who believes that in order to achieve this objective it is essential to carry out a promotion of the films, so that the viewer knows the box office, and there is firm support from the public administrations.
And it is that the sector, he stressed, continues to live "a situation of fragility" and needs the support of the Government and the communities so that the growth curves do not decline.
In this regard, he pointed out that the new Film Law to be approved by Congress is "a very good opportunity" to adapt current legislation to future challenges. However, he considers that the text, as it is now, is "continuous" and maintains the question of the share of screens.
"We think that more than an obligation for movie theaters, it is important that it be reversed in demand policies, that make the public go in to see Spanish and European cinema," he indicated.
It has also demanded that the establishment of a hundred-day exhibition window be addressed to guarantee the exclusivity of the projection in movie theaters during that period.