BOX OFFICE: Box Office and Admissions in Georgia Show Huge Decline in 2020


    TBILISI: The total 2020 box office in Georgia decreased by 86% from 4,145,123 EUR / 13,264,395 GEL in 2019 to 564,637 EUR / 2,258,549 GEL in 2020, as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Admissions to domestic films decreased from 37,865 in 2019 to 2,000 in 2020, while total admissions dropped by 83% from 1,359,365 in 2019 to 230,160 in 2020.

    American films dominated the Georgian box office in 2020: Bad Boys for Life directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah was released on 23 February 2020 and managed to rack up 34,776 admissions (according to Georgian Cinemas) with 88,340 EUR / 353,362 GEL gross until March, before the pandemic broke. Jumanji directed by Jake Kasdan had 33,559 admissions and approximately 81,742 EUR / 326,968 GEL gross in 8 weeks.

    A total of 67 titles were theatrically released in 2020, compared to 163 in 2019.

    Pig directed by Giga Liklikadze and produced by Sarke Studio is the only Georgian film that premiered in cinemas in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, screenings of the film Golden Thread, a Georgian/French coproduction directed by Lana Ghoghoberidze, produced by Film Production and coproduced by Manuel Cam Studio, which premiered on 12 December 2019, continued in 2020. 

    "In terms of attendance, the share of Pig and Golden Thread is very small. The films had a total of about 2,000 admissions", Salome Kuprashvili, Marketing Manager of the film exhibitor Cavea, told FNE.

    Admissions to domestic films decreased from 37,865 in 2019 to 2,000 in 2020 and domestic box office decreased significantly. The domestic box office was 119,979 EUR / 383 934 GEL in 2019. The exact number for 2020 is unknown.
    Cinemas closed on 16 March 2020. Prior to that, the cinemas were visited by an average of 100,000 viewers every month, and this data were maintained until the closing.

    The premiere of Negative Numbers directed by Uta Beria, produced by Magnet films and coproduced by Tbilisi-based Alief, France’s Wide Management and Italy’s 39Films, was scheduled for March 2020, but the traditional premiere in cinemas was delayed. The film premiered at Cavea Drive-In Cinema on 9 July 2020, and screened until 7 August. In the first week of August, the screening of Shindisi Heroes directed by Dito Tsintsadze and produced by Georgian 20 Steps was held again within the Cavea Drive-In Cinema. Total admissions and box office are unknown.

    "After almost a year of closure, cinemas are facing existential challenges and at this stage we do not know the estimated date of the resumption of screenings,” Kuprashvili told FNE.