What Studios Must Reconsider to Grow Box Office

Cinema enthusiasts are optimistic about the future, particularly with the release schedules for the second half of 2024 and 2025. The much-needed boost from Bad Boys: Ride or Die at the start of June, following an average May, and highly anticipated titles such as Inside Out 2, A Quiet Place: Day One, and Deadpool & Wolverine lined-up for release, ensure that the global box office will maintain its momentum this summer. The slowdown in 2024 was largely due to last year’s dual labor strikes, which halted Hollywood and pushed many blockbusters to 2025. But will a strong movie lineup in theaters be enough to solve this problem, or are there other issues studios need to address to achieve the collective horsepower needed to reach pre-pandemic results and demand?

According to reports from the Global Cinema Federation, cinemas worldwide are gearing up for a new era focused on enhancing the movie-going experience. However, achieving box office growth requires a collaborative effort between exhibitors and studios. Here are the GCF’s suggestions for studios to contribute to this collective push:


More Studio Films in Theatre

The need for a higher number of titles remains crucial for the growth of global box office, as the number of theatrical releases has significantly decreased since the pandemic. While there are several blockbusters scheduled for release in 2025, one good year alone is not sufficient to exceed the levels of pre-pandemic box office revenue. Hence studios must understand the importance of increasing the quantity of films available in theaters to drive overall revenue growth and achieve the consistent high-grossing box office performance seen prior to the pandemic.


Movie Release Graph
Rom-Coms and Animation are Two Genres with Fewer Films Since the Pandemic

According to a survey by the ticketing platform BookMyShow, the majority of customers express their readiness to return to theaters for a wider variety of genres when there is a film they want to see. However, there has been a noticeable decline in the production and release of romantic comedies and animated films since the pandemic. This gap in the market represents a missed opportunity, as these genres have traditionally drawn significant audiences. Reviving the production of rom-coms and animated films can cater to a wide demographic, encouraging more frequent trips to the cinema


Shorter Theatrical Windows Have an Effect on Int’l Box Office

The trend of shortening the theatrical window, particularly in the US, has significant repercussions on the international box office. When films are swiftly moved to streaming platforms after their initial release, it weakens the incentive for international audiences to see the movie in theaters, as they may prefer waiting for the streaming release. Additionally, piracy on these platforms can further erode the studios’ potential revenue. To counteract this, the Global Cinema Federation suggests maintaining a longer exclusive theatrical window to preserve the unique value proposition and box office draw of the cinema experience worldwide.


Studios - GCF - graph 2


Movie Run-time

The length of movies is another factor that influences audience turnout. Extremely long run-times can deter some viewers due to time constraints or comfort concerns. Balancing film lengths to ensure they are engaging yet not excessively long can help maximize audience retention and satisfaction. Providing a mix of shorter and feature-length films can cater to various audience preferences, making it easier for more people to fit a movie outing into their schedules.


Marketing Effectiveness

Effective marketing is crucial for driving box office success, especially for non-blockbuster films. This involves not only traditional advertising methods, but also leveraging digital platforms and targeted campaigns to reach potential viewers. Multi-channel strategies can build audience awareness and excitement for upcoming films. Engaging promotional activities, social media buzz, and partnerships with influencers can further amplify the reach and impact of marketing efforts, ultimately boosting ticket sales.


Source: Global Cinema Federation Report