Movie theatre attendance in 2021: the share of admissions to Québec films up despite a market that is still less active than before the pandemic
Québec, May 26, 2022. – In 2021, Québec movie theatres welcomed 7.0 million moviegoers, up from 4.3 million in 2020, but far below the 18.7 million moviegoers in 2019, before the pandemic. The number of screens in operation in movie theatres decreased from 731 in 2019 to 680 in 2021, a 7% drop in two years. This was revealed in La fréquentation des cinémas en 2021 published today by the Observatoire de la culture et des communications of the Institut de la statistique du Québec.
Movie theatre admissions in Québec, weekly data, 2020, 2021, and 2015–2019 average, Québec
Source: Institut de la statistique du Québec, Observatoire de la culture et des communications du Québec.
Film offering still smaller than before the pandemic
In 2021, 595 films were screened in theatres (-3% from 2020), including 358 new releases (+56% from 2020). Despite an increase in new theatrical releases in 2021, including several films originally scheduled for 2020, the gap with 2019 (583 new releases) remains significant. The number of screenings rose from 380,000 in 2020 to 570,000 in 2021, but remained 40% below the 2019 result (950,000), as theatres operated for an average of 35 weeks in 2021.
Share of Québec films up for the second consecutive year
The share of Québec films in theatrical screenings reached 15%, its highest level since 2005 and a sign that many Québec films were on offer. Attendance increased for films of all origins in 2021, particularly British (+77%), U.S. (+73%), and Québec (+67%) films. The share of Québec films stood at 13.5%, higher than in 2019 (7.9%) and 2020 (13.1%). Québec films had a market share of over 13% in all regions of the province except Montréal (9%) and Laval (8%).
Québec, a favourable market for Dune by Denis Villeneuve
The most-viewed film in Québec theaters in 2021 was Dune, by Québec director Denis Villeneuve, which ranked 12th in the Canadian and U.S. markets overall. The comedy Le guide de la famille parfaite topped the box-office charts for Québec films, ahead of the drama Maria Chapdelaine and the tale L’arracheuse de temps. These three films accounted for 43% of all admissions to Québec films in 2021.
These results come from the Film Screening Survey conducted by the Observatoire de la culture et des communications of the Institut de la statistique du Québec.
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