Maltese Cinemas Registered 78% Drop in Admissions in 2020


    VALLETTA: Cinemas in Malta and Gozo registered 165,475 admissions in 2020, representing a drop of 78% compared to 2019, which had seen a total of 748,568 admissions, according to Malta’s National Statistics Office.

    Cinemas across the islands were closed between 17 March and 16 June 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country. On reopening, theatres had to implement a slate of mitigation measures, including severely limiting the number of admissions in an attempt to help stem the number of infections in Malta.

    The situation was also hampered by the stark decrease in seating capacity, as some theatres downsized: in 2020, seven cinema establishments offered only 39% of 2019’s seating capacity. Indeed, there were a total of only 2,262 cinema seats, compared to 5,762 seats in 2019.

    Film titles were also hard to come by: 330 films were screened in 2020, compared to 409 in 2019.

    These restrictions had an impact on the bottom line. Indeed, cinemas earned a total gross box office of 1,079,521 EUR over 18,733 screenings, compared to 4.952 m EUR over 28,534 screenings in 2019.

    In 2020, the most popular film titles were Jumanji: The Next Level, Bad Boys for Life and 1917, amounting for 7.7%, 6.3% and 5.2% of total admissions respectively, the NSO said.