Analysts warn that the box office will plunge by more than 50% for 2020

Ben Arnold
"Box office sign of off-Broadway theater near Times Square in New York City, New York."

The US box office will be slashed in half this year, according to new research.

Wall Street analysts MoffettNathanson has run the numbers, and has predicted that due to the shuttering of theatres across the country, revenue will fall from $11.4 billion last year to $5.5 billion for 2020.

The research also warns that if cinemas don't re-open effectively over the summer, following the coronavirus lockdown, the damage could be even more severe.

Read more: Will UK cinemas open in July?

Major movie market cities in the US, including New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, have not yet committed to when screens may re-open, after having closed cinemas in March.

“Given the uncertainty around the key questions we mention above, including sticking to July release dates, when key markets reopen and willingness of movie-goers to return before a vaccine, our estimates today are very much a work in process with lots of volatility in the months ahead,” read the research, reported in Variety.

It's hoped that the imminent release of Christopher Nolan's Tenet, Wonder Woman 1984 and the live-action remake of Mulan will be the titles that will bring cinema-goers back to the multiplexes, post-lockdown.

Read more: UK filming for TV and movies to recommence

Cinemas in the UK are now putting in place their battle plans for re-opening later this month, and into July.

The Showcase Cinema chain announced it is to re-open next month, with Vue cinemas also announcing its plans for re-opening with social distancing measures.

A spokesman for the UK Cinema Association said: “On the basis of our understanding of the safeguards that will need to be in place before cinemas can safely open, most venues will be ready to do so by the end of June.

“The suggestion that this might be considered around 4 July for cinemas in England is therefore welcome.”