Mediavision: Cinema rebounds across the Nordics – but is still far from pre-pandemic levels


20 December 2021

Cinema was severely impacted by the pandemic and continue to be so. New figures from Mediavision show that Nordic households resumed to purchasing cinema tickets in the fall of 2021 – but not to the same extent as before the pandemic.

Out of all media categories, cinema was by far the most affected by the pandemic. Strict restrictions caused theatres all over the Nordics to close for several months. In the fall of 2021, things started to normalize, and most theatres reopened. Naturally, this had a direct, positive effect on ticket sales. In the fall of 2021, close to three million Nordic households (15-74-year-olds) – approximately 25 percent of all households – said that they had purchased cinema ticket(s) in the past month. Nevertheless, this figure is still far below levels from fall 2019, when close to four million households or 35 percent, had purchased a ticket in the past month.

Growth year-over-year (2020 vs 2021) varies across the four countries, with the highest increase in Denmark. It is the only country where the share of households that have purchased cinema ticket(s), reached the same levels in fall 2021 as recorded pre-pandemic 2019. Sweden remains at approximately half of 2019 levels. 2019 had a particularly strong line-up of box office titles, while both 2020 and 2021 have suffered from a weaker offering caused by production delays and changes in the actors’ distribution schedule. This of course affects total ticket sales.

– The holidays are approaching, which generally means a strong period for box office. However, the pandemic is not over yet and restrictions have once again been imposed across the Nordics. It will take time before we reach the record levels of 2019, comments Natalia Borelius, senior analyst at Mediavision.