Box office sales in UK and Ireland down 76% in 2020 as coronavirus devastates film industry

1917 was the highest grossing film in the UK in 2020

1917 - Official Trailer

Box office figures in the UK and Ireland were down by 76 per cent in 2020.

With the coronavirus pandemic devastating both cinemas and the film production industry, Comscore reports that £322.9 million was generated in 2020, compared with £1.35bn in 2019.

This makes 2020 the first in five consecutive years not to have exceeded sales of £1.3bn.

However, 2020 got off to a promising start, with revenue actually up 20 per cent on 2019 in the first couple of months.

Sam Mendes’s historical drama 1917 was the highest grossing film in the UK last year, making £44m when released nationwide in January.

However, as cinemas began to close in March 2020 with a full national lockdown later enforcing this, sales dropped dramatically, with many venues choosing to stay shut over the summer even when legally able to open.

The introduction of regional lockdowns and the tier system in the autumn meant that many had to close again in tier 3 and 4 areas, with the current national lockdown in England forcing all to shut once more.

As a result, 441 new titles were released in cinemas in 2020, compared to 938 in 2019.

However, the introduction of 31 drive-in cinemas across the UK and Ireland contributed £1.6m to box office figures.

See the top 10 films in the UK and Ireland in 2020 below…

1. 1917 (£44 million)

2. Sonic The Hedgehog (£19.3 million)

3. Tenet (£17.4 million)

4. Bad Boys For Life (£16.2 million)

5. Dolittle (£15.9 million)

6. Little Women (£15.3 million)

7. The Gentlemen (£12.2 million)

8. Parasite (£12.1 million)

9. Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker (£11.3 million)

10. Jumanji: The Next Level (£11 million)

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