Italy’s box office grosses in 2022 totaled €306 million ($328,000) while the admissions tally was a measly 44.5 million admissions, which reps a 48% drop compared with the country’s average pre-pandemic intake between 2017 and 2019.
On the positive side, the Italian 2022 box office result repped an 81% increase in grosses over 2021 when closures, mandatory Covid masks in cinemas, and other side effects of the pandemic prompted a massive plunge.
But the country’s moviegoing mojo pales in comparison with France’s 152 million admissions in 2022, and also with the admissions tallies in Germany, 74 million, and Spain, 59 million, all of which were also below pre-pandemic levels, but not as dramatically so. For example moviegoing numbers in France and Germany both clocked in at roughly 26% less that their pre-pandemic levels, while Spain was 37% below pre-pandemic par, according to a study by Italian motion picture association ANICA which released the country’s box office figures and its contextual analysis during a press conference on Tuesday.
Hollywood dominated the year, accounting for 58% of the Italian market which reps a roughly 7% increase in market share being held by the U.S. studios compared with pre-pandemic times. Like in France, there were no Italian movies last year in the top ten for the first time in recent memory.
Italy’s top 2022 grosser is James Cameron’s blockbuster sequel “Avatar: The Way of Water,” which has pulled more than €27 million ($29 million), and counting; followed by “Minions 2,” which clocked €14.7 million ($15.8 million) in Italian cinemas; and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” which pulled €13.6 million ($14.6 million).
The top Italian title at the home box office was Roberto Andò’s “La Stranezza” (“Strangeness”), toplining Toni Servillo (“The Great Beauty”) as the Nobel-prize-winning playwright Luigi Pirandello. Italian movies accounted for €60.3 million ($64.7 million) in grosses, or 19.7% of the total pie.
The year’s leading distributor in Italy was Disney which accounted for a 26.4% market share, followed by Warner Bros. (20.7%), Universal (14.7%), and local indies Eagle Pictures (9%) and 01 Distribution (7%).
“We greet the beginning of 2023 with a spirit of cautious optimism because we know that it will take time to return to the pre-pandemic levels that had been the best ever,” commented ANICA president Francesco Rutelli during the presser. He added that the country’s needed boost to moviegoing depends “largely on the strength of the product” and noted that “the positive start of 2023 has proven how both multiplicity and originality of product can lead to a great new season of seeing films in theaters.”