The cinema industry successfully ushered global audiences back into theatre in 2022 largely owing to the steadier flow of blockbusters in comparison to 2021, with Top Gun: Maverick, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Avatar: The Way of Water leading the long list of successful titles this year.
While 2021 was a dress rehearsal for the future of cinemas, 2022 has proved that cinema is back for real. This was especially evident in Saudi Arabia, when the country overtook Italy in annual box office revenue (in US$ terms), highlighting the prominence of cinema in the region.
Box office in 2022 had its first test with Scream which grossed nearly US$1M in the UAE alone and marked the successful return of the horror genre in the region since the pandemic. This was followed by the chartbuster performance of Matt Reeve’s The Batman, which earned a combined US$12M in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which earned US$6.7M in the UAE.
Summer blockbusters highly contributed to the recovery of the global box office in 2022, with Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick grossing a combined US$21.2M in the UAE and Saudi Arabia and over US$1.5 billion globally. Jurassic World: Dominion and Minions: The Rise of Gru also performed well, grossing over US$1.7M and US$1.64M in UAE and Saudi Arabia, respectively.
August to October was a challenging phase for cinemas in the region due to a weaker movie release schedule owing to pandemic-related delays. The year however ended on a high note with the release of James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water, which earned close to US$10M in the UAE in its opening weeks. Arabic titles such as Bahebek, 3amohom, and Men Agl Zeko also topped the 2022 charts across GCC.
Here’s our 2022 wrap-up featuring the top movie releases in the eight countries we cover, the most watched genres across the region, the top 15 cinema ads booked through us that lit up the big screen, and last but not least, the new cinema locations added to our circuit and our milestones:
The 15 blockbuster ads (in no particular order) – booked through Motivate Val Morgan, that lit up the big screen in 2022 (also featured in Campaign Middle East):
Brand: Mercedes-Benz Burmester
Title: Innovations by Mercedes-Benz: Dolby Atmos
Media Agency: OMD
Title: Trojena – Journey To New Heights
Media Agency: Starcom
Title: Gerry the Goose Flies Better
Media Agency: UM MENA
Title: Rolex & Cinema – The Path
Media Agency: Mindshare
Title: Amna Al Qubaisi – Emirati F3 Driver – Redefining Beauty with Sephora
Media Agency: Spark Foundry – Publicis Media
Brand: Malabar Gold
Title: Brides of India
Title: Terre d’Hermès
Media Agency: Havas Media
Brand: Thailand Tourism
Title: Amazing Thailand
Media Agency: Media Republic
Title: Grow Your World With Hayatna
Media Agency: Hearts & Science
Brand: Riyadh Book Fair
Media Agency: Blue Horizon
Brand: Infiniti QX60
Title: Take the Wheel
Media Agency: OMD
Brand: Jindal Shadeed
Media Agency: United Media Services
Brand: Yas Island
Title: Yas Yas Baby
Media Agency: Initiative Media
Brand: Al Nahdi Pharmacies
2022 saw our cinema circuit expand with several new locations:
Our dedicated cinema buying platform – CinePlan and CineMeasure, was launched, which enables data-driven, audience-based buying across our network of cinemas in the Middle East. The platform was also recognized as one of Campaign Middle East’s Top 10 Media Milestones of 2022.
Get ready for an exciting year at the movies in 2023! Here are the top 20 movies to look forward to over the year ahead:
For more on the movies coming out in 2023, be sure to check out our sizzle reel
L’Oréal booked an integrated cinema campaign with Motivate Val Morgan – through, Universal Media to promote their extended brand offering – Armani Code by Giorgio Armani.
Actor Regé-Jean Page embodies the modern, forward-looking rendition of masculinity that sits at the heart of the Armani Code philosophy.
The 15 sec. on-screen commercial was booked as a sponsorship spot at VOX Cinemas – Kingdom Centre Riyadh – KSA for a period of 4 weeks starting 10th November, coinciding with the release of Marvel’s blockbuster Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
The off-screen component included a sampling activity prior to the screening of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever at VOX – Kingdom Centre Riyadh on the weekend of November 10th – 12th, 2022.
Perfume samples were placed on the seats, along with an Armani Code flyer, featuring Regé-Jean Page, and a QR Code for the audience to scan and order the perfume online.
Combining on-screen advertising with sampling at the cinema is an effective strategy when seeking to engage audiences with a new product.
Got a product launch ahead? Contact us to know more on how integrated campaigns can help move your brand closer to its target audience.
Cinema ad spend in the U.S is expected to grow by 168% in 2022.
The advertising industry was one of the most affected by the pandemic. 2021 however, witnessed a rapid bounce back, with most mediums reaching a record high and surpassing pre-pandemic levels.
In a recent study, Magna Advertising forecasted U.S. ad spend in 2022 for each medium, and while most mediums are expected to grow less in 2022 – a result of the doom-and-gloom narrative surrounding the ad market owing to the impending recession, ad spend on cinema is expected to increase by 168%.
Due to a disappointing first half in 2021, full-year ad sales amounted to just 24% of pre-COVID levels, however it is projected that cinema advertising will enjoy its first quasi-normal year since 2019, with audience admissions already witnessing a boost with the release of The Batman, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Top Gun: Maverick, and a large slate of blockbusters set to release over Q3 and Q4 2022: Jurassic World Dominion, Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Black Adam and Avatar: The Way of Water.
As movie attendance is on the rise, marketers in both the U.S and globally are also looking at the ‘attention’ aspect cinema affords advertisers. Recent research by Amplified Intelligence reveals that cinema scores 80% ‘active’ attention and 20% ‘passive attention’ with zero wastage and no decay – the highest statistic thus far for active attention in a market of 30-40% attention average.
Sources: Magna Global, Variety and Mi3
2021 witnessed the return of movies to the big screen with the release of the most anticipated movies that were delayed by the pandemic.
Hollywood had an active year with a variety of films released, such as sci-fi flicks, Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, musicals, character dramas, thrillers, and animations. The audience were quick to re-embrace cinema as their favourite cultural activity.
As we are nearing the end of 2021, let us look back at some of the highlights from the year 2021 that helped bring movies back to the big screen.
(based on Box Office)
10 blockbuster ads (in no particular order) that lit up the big screen in 2021, as featured in Campaign Middle East :
Title: Expo 2020 Women’s Pavilion
Agency: MediaCom MENA
Brand: Yas Island Abu Dhabi
Title: Stayin’ On Yas
Title: Our Culture is Our Future
Agency: Universal Media KSA
Agency: Initiative Abu Dhabi
Title: The Legend of Hermès Della Cavalleria
Agency: Havas Media ME
Title: Made to Change
Title: The New Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
Brand: TRA Bahrain
Title: Digital Theft
Brand: Gulf Bank
Agency: Wavemaker MENA
Title: Macan – Your Sidekick,Everywhere
Agency: BPG Kuwait
There are a dizzying amount of exciting new movies coming to theaters in 2022. These are the top 10 movies you should be looking forward to in the coming year:
For more on the movies coming out in 2022, be sure to check out our sizzle reel, which launches towards the end of January 2022
Souces : Vox Cinemas, IMDB, Box Office Mojo
Here’s a list of all confirmed Marvel movies, releasing from December 2021 onwards.
Marvel Cinematic Universe was first introduced to audiences in Iron Man (2008) when Nick Fury tells Tony Stark: “Mr. Stark, you’ve become part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet.” This was an ambitious attempt of ‘transmedia story telling’ – bringing the comic book continuity to the BIG Screen. 21 Marvel movies later, Avengers: Endgame marked the end of Marvel’s overarching storyline as we know it, but it is not the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Following a pandemic-mandated delay of Marvel’s Phase 4 slate, the studio debuted three series – WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki, and returned to the BIG screen in 2021 with Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings and Eternals, revealing plans for its post-Infinity Saga future.
In this feature, we provide a summary of all confirmed Marvel movies that are releasing over the coming years, including Phase 4 and 5 , as well as the those that are currently in development.
Spider-Man: No Way Home – December 16, 2021
Arguably the most highly anticipated MCU movie since Avengers: Endgame. Tom Holland’s third solo outing as the web-slinging New Yorker is slated to hit theaters a little over a month after the debut of Eternals. With Spider-Man’s identity now revealed at the end of Far From Home, Peter asks Doctor Strange for help. When a spell goes wrong, dangerous foes from other worlds start to appear, forcing Peter to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man. Hype has reached fever pitch since the release of the first trailer, as rumors ran rampant about the multiverse adventure set off by Doctor Strange. Some of those rumors have been confirmed in the second trailer, such as the appearance of Doc Ock, Electro, Lizard and Sand Man, while the others remain unconfirmed, though it seems all but guaranteed that both Maguire and Andrew Garfield will be reappearing as their own versions of Peter Parker.
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness – May 5, 2022
After taking over as Peter Parker’s mentor in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange will get his second solo outing in 2022. Like many of the MCU’s upcoming films, he will be joined by a slew of Marvel heroes both familiar and new. Elizabeth Olsen will be returning as Scarlet Witch, Benedict Wong, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Rachel McAdams are also set to return while Xochitl Gomez will make her MCU debut as the dimension-hopping hero America Chavez. It’s also set to follow through on the promise of exploring the multiverse, something the MCU has yet to do in full force despite touching on it in shows like Loki and the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Thor: Love & Thunder – July 7, 2022
Chris Hemsworth is breaking the trilogy mold of Marvel movies by starring in his fourth solo outing as the God of Thunder. After wowing audiences with his hilarious and irreverent Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi is back in the director’s chair for another Thor adventure. At the end of Avengers: Endgame, Thor was last seen leaving earth with the Guardians of the Galaxy, as they set out to search for Gamora. The Guardians are also set to make an appearance in Love and Thunder. Jane Foster will also be back as Mighty Thor, as she prepares to wield Mjolnir. Also back are Jamie Alexander’s Lady Sif and Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie. They’ll all have to face off against Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher. Russell Crowe will also be playing Zeus, introducing Olympian gods to the fold and combining the cosmic adventures of Thor with mythological storytelling.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – November 10, 2022
The highly anticipated sequel to Black Panther released in 2018 (the only Marvel movie to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar) has faced a long road to screens. After the tragic passing of T’Challa actor Chadwick Boseman, Wakanda Forever was retooled to tell a more expansive story about Wakanda while still honoring Boseman’s legacy as the iconic Black Panther. While the Black Panther sequel will focus on the various characters introduced in the first film, Wakanda Forever will also introduce Ironheart, played by Dominique Thorne. Wakanda Forever is sure to be one of the most emotional Marvel movies to date as it deals with T’Challa’s absence and how the African nation will be shaped by his legacy.
The Marvels – February 16, 2023
The sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel will kick off the MCU’s 2023 slate. Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers will be joined by Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau, who has a bone or two to pick with the cosmic hero. Iman Vellani will also appear as Ms. Marvel after her debut in a solo Disney+ show in 2022. As is common for Marvel movies this far out, very little is known about the plot, but the events of The Marvels are seemingly already being set up in the MCU.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 – May 4, 2023
James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the only MCU movie not to be delayed recently and that’s because Gunn has been ready to direct the film for several years. In addition to being the last outing of the original members of the team, Guardians 3 will also introduce Adam Warlock, who is set to be played by Will Poulter. Gunn has also hinted dozens of other secret roles have been cast for the film, indicating a massive send-off for some of the most beloved MCU characters. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will also expand the cosmic side of the MCU further after both Thor: Love and Thunder and The Marvels spend some time away from earth.
Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania – July 27, 2023
While the Ant-Man films have always been more tangentially related to the MCU at large, that all changed when Paul Rudd’s plucky Scott Lang played a big role in Avengers: Endgame. The third Ant-Man film will go even further than that. Not only does Cassie Lang, Scott’s daughter, seem primed to become a hero in her own right, but the Lang family is set to face off against who many presume to be the MCU’s next Thanos. Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror was introduced in Loki as He Who Remains, but the foreboding overlord of the citadel beyond the end of time warned of dangerous variants of himself who would be unleashed if the Sacred Timeline was destroyed. Now that that’s happened, it looks like Scott, Hope van Dyne, Janet van Dyne, and Hank Pym are set to face off against one of the MCU’s most dangerous villains, making Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania an integral installment in Marvel’s wider plans.
Fantastic 4 – 2023
Marvel’s First Family will finally make their MCU debut – it’s just a matter of when. Now that Disney owns 20th Century Fox, the rights to the Fantastic Four are finally in the hands of Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige announced plans for a movie about the superhero team in December 2020. Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts will also helm Fantastic Four, so as soon as Peter Parker’s third solo film releases, Watts should be able to begin work on the highly anticipated film. While Marvel has yet to set a date of release for the film, it seems safe to assume it could come in late 2023 or early 2024.
Blade – 2023
Two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali will take on the role of vampire hunter Blade as the MCU looks to continue exploring the scarier side of Marvel lore with characters like Moon Knight and the upcoming Disney+ Halloween special that will reportedly include Werewolf by Night. Blade will represent a shift in the MCU as a whole and there’s no one more perfect than Ali to take on the role. With a director and writer both attached to the film, Blade will be one of the Marvel movies releasing in 2023.
Deadpool 3 – 2024
The famous “Merc with a Mouth,” Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool is officially making his way to the MCU in Marvel’s first R-rated feature. Bob’s Burgers writers Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin are attached to pen the screenplay with filming beginning sometime in 2022. Right now, Deadpool is the only character who will remain the same in crossing over from 20th Century Fox to Disney, and there’s no better character to do so than Wade Wilson. With filming commencing next year, it seems likely that Deadpool 3 will hit theaters sometime in early 2024.
Captain America 4 – TBA
Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson is officially the MCU’s new Captain America after he wrestled with taking on the mantle in Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Little is known about Captain America 4, including whether or not Sebastian Stan will appear after Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson teamed up in their show. Still, it seems safe to assume that Stan could make a comeback alongside Emily van Camp’s Sharon Carter, who was revealed as the Marvel villain Power Broker at the end of that series. With no writer or director attached to Captain America 4, it could be a while before the movie comes out, but Kevin Feige has said he does have a release date in mind.
X-Men – TBA
Like Deadpool and the Fantastic Four, X-Men mutants are officially being introduced to the MCU. Of all the upcoming Marvel movies, the one centered around mutants may be the most mysterious. Marvel will want to differentiate itself from 20th Century Fox’s long-running X-Men franchise and doing so could mean holding back on introducing fan-favorite characters like Wolverine, Storm, and Cyclops. However, it happens, it’s sure to be another landmark event for the MCU following Eternals, but it will be quite some time before they finally appear. That won’t stop Marvel Studios from slyly laying the groundwork for mutants’ eventual appearance, though.