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Movie theatres begin recovery from Covid crisis

Movie theatres in Portugal enjoyed increases of over 40% in moviegoers and revenue in 2021 compared to 2020, although numbers are still a far cry from pre-pandemic years.

Over 5.4 million moviegoers and €30.5 million in revenue were registered at national movie theatres last year, a significant improvement over 2020’s 3.8 million moviegoers and €20.5 million in revenue.

While the increases definitely seem positive at first glance, the numbers from 2019 help put the broader situation into perspective.

In the last year before the pandemic, national movie theatres welcomed 15.1 million moviegoers and €83.1 million in revenue.

As Portugal’s cinema and audiovisual institute (ICA) points out, movie theatres in 2021 were affected by severe restrictions due to the “exceptional measures” implemented by the government to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

ICA data shows that 18 movie theatres across the country remained closed throughout 2021.

The institute also revealed that the average attendance of movie screenings was just 16.5 moviegoers per screening.

However, there were some blockbuster films which were still able to pull crowds. The most watched film at national movie theatres in 2021 was ‘007: No Time to Die’, which attracted around 435,000 moviegoers.