Quebec cinema saw its market share increase in 2020, going from 7.5% to 11.7%. This result, calculated by Cinéac from the local box office, is the best for ten years.
But these encouraging figures should be tempered, as theaters have had to be closed several times due to the spread of COVID-19.
The box office only reached $ 45 million last year. This is a drop of nearly 75% from 2019.
The year 2020 thus qualified as “difficult with the various closings and postponements of several expected films”, according to Alexandre Hurtubise, Co-owner of La Maison du Cinéma and Cinéma Lido Rimouski and representative of the committee to revive cinema in Quebec.
“The cumulative results for 2020 highlight the violence of the impact of the pandemic on movie theaters. Although these data are difficult to compare with previous years, it is interesting to note the excellent performance of Quebec cinema […]», Said Éric Bouchard, president of the Corporation of the cinemas of Quebec.
“If we compare ourselves to the Canadian market, and even to the North American market, Quebec has proven the solidity of its audience and its cinematography. During the few months of reopening, our cinemas in Quebec continued to program Quebec films and the public was there. This is a huge advantage over other markets, ”commented Daniel Seguin, Cineplex Executive Vice President and Member of the Recovery Committee.
He is also confident for 2021, “thanks to the many Quebec films which are only waiting for the reopening of cinemas”.
Hopes for 2021
“Now, theater owners are eager to reopen and they will be ready to contribute to the collective effort towards a safe release for all. Quebecers will need to be entertained and we believe that the offer of films showing in 2021 will attract many regular and new moviegoers, ”said Denis Hurtubise, President of the Association of Quebec Cinemas Owners.
Let us remember that Quebecers will soon be able, if the health situation improves, to see films from here on the big screen such as My Salinger year by Philippe Falardeau, Underground by Sophie Dupuis or even Death of a ladies man by Matthew Bissonnette. The long-awaited Franco-Quebec co-production Aline is scheduled for November 2021.
“The distributors will be there as soon as they return to theaters to support our cinema and support an industry that has been able to work together through this storm. […] We will work closely with cinemas in order to maintain and even improve these market shares in 2021 ”, assures Ariane Giroux-Dallaire, vice-president of MK2 Mile End and representative of the recovery committee.
Finally, Alexandre Hurtubise affirms that he is working “tirelessly to adapt our rooms according to the constantly changing health conditions”. “We will be ready to open our doors in complete safety as soon as it is permitted, by giving an important place to home cinema”, he concludes.