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UK box office dropped 76 per cent in 2020 amid COVID-19 pandemic

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The UK box office dropped a staggering 76 per cent in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic had huge effects on the film industry.

The drop comes after five consecutive years of the box office topping £1.3billion, while 2020’s earnings came in at just £323m.

  • READ MORE: UK cinema staff react to closures: “The government and studios have left us to rot”

The new report from Comscore revealed that revenues in the first three months of 2020 were up 20 per cent year on year, though fell dramatically when the UK’s first national lockdown was announced in late March.

1917, released in January, was the top earner at the UK box office across 2020, with Christopher Nolan’s Tenet the only film released post-lockdown to make the top 10.

See the full top 10 list of UK box office releases in 2020 below.

1. 1917 – £44million
2. Sonic The Hedgehog – £19.3million
3. Tenet – £17.4million
4. Bad Boys For Life – £16.2million
5. Dolittle – £15.9million
6. Little Women – £15.3million
7. The Gentlemen – £12.2million
8. Parasite – £12.1million
9. Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker – £11.3million
10. Jumanji: The Next Level – £11million

John Washington David, Robert Pattinson, Tenet
‘Tenet’ was the only film released after the March nationwide lockdown to make the box office top 10 for 2020. CREDIT: Warner Bros

Many major studio releases were postponed this year, the most high profile of which was James Bond’s No Time To Die. After being delayed from its original April 2, 2020 release date, fans were expecting to be able to see the next instalment in the franchise in the UK on November 12 and in the US on November 20, but the film has now been pushed back again to April 2021.

The decision to delay No Time To Die was considered a major blow for cinemas around the world, with the Cineworld chain announcing soon after that it would be closing all of its cinemas in the UK and the US.

A staff member from one of London’s Picturehouse branches, owned by Cineworld, told NME that Bond’s delay was “the final nail in the coffin” for them.

“I’m extremely disappointed in [007 studio] MGM as No Time To Die could have saved the cinema industry,” they added. “It’s what we were all holding out for.

“They could’ve been known as the studio that saved cinemas as opposed to the studio that condemned them.”

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