The box office is starting to recover.

According to new data from Comscore, October has been the best month in the pandemic era so far, with domestic ticket sales reaching $ 638 million, well surpassing the previous record of nearly $ 584 million, last established in July.

“It never happens,” Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian told Yahoo Finance Live in a recent interview, noting that July – the highlight of the blockbuster summer season – typically locks the market down. more income.

But having October 2021 in the lead after nearly two years of pandemic headwinds “is a testament to how much people want to go back to the movies” and how “big movies bring people back to the multiplex,” Dergarabedian said.

Theater shares surged on Monday with Cinemark Holdings (CNK) closing more than 11%. IMAX (IMAX) and AMC (AMC) also saw some upward swings, closing Monday’s trading session up 4.5% and 4.8%, respectively.

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

“Venom: Let There be Carnage,” along with “No Time to Die” topped the box office last month, grossing a nationwide total of $ 190.4 million and $ 133.3 million, respectively.

“Halloween Kills” and “Dune” also performed well, with the latter widely expected to continue a strong box office until November.

However, “Dune” was also a simultaneous release on HBO Max (T), which some analysts said reduced potential theatrical earnings.

Dergarabedian said that “it all depends on the quality of the films,” explaining that the domestic debut of “Dune” at $ 41 million proved the desire of moviegoers to see this particular film on the big screen – despite its availability to stream at home. .

However, hybrid versions “hurt in the long run [box office] potential “for some films. The analyst cited” Halloween Kills “as a film that could have been impacted by its hybrid model, as horror films generally cater to the home viewing experience.

Dergarabedian also called the hack a “big deal” – accentuated by the day and date posts.

According to the weekly ranking of piracy news site TorrentFreak, “Dune” was the most pirated film two weeks in a row after its debut.

‘On this road to recovery’

AMC employee scans digital ticket for movie buff at AMC Burbank Theater on reopening day in Burbank, California, March 15, 2021

AMC employee scans digital ticket for movie buff at AMC Burbank Theater on reopening day in Burbank, California, March 15, 2021

To date, the North American box office has amassed around $ 3 billion in ticket sales.

Upcoming films like “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “Eternals,” “West Side Story” and “The Matrix Resurrections” should help increase that box office total and complete a strange (but hopeful 2021) year. ).

Dergarabedian predicts the domestic box office will close at over $ 4 billion in ticket sales with potentially more room to operate. (For context, the domestic box office raised $ 9 billion in 2019.)

“We have not returned to normal, but we are on the road to recovery,” said the analyst.

“I would love to see $ 5 billion, but I think 2022 and 2023 are the years when we can start to approach that typical $ 11 billion in North America and over $ 40 billion globally,” a- he supposed.

“It’s just gonna take a while [but] the signs are all there, ”he added.

Alexandra is an entertainment producer and correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @ alliecanal8193

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