Maltese cinemas registered a strong recovery in 2022, generating a total box office of €3.39 million against 460,000 admissions, when compared to 2021’s €1.88 million box office and 258,000 admissions.

However, it remains far less than the €4.96 million raised on 735,000 admissions in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year.

This comes as no surprise, since the final measures to restrict the transmission of COVID-19 were only lifted towards the middle of 2022. The figures for 2023 will be far more telling of the industry’s performance, which has been hit hard by the proliferation of streaming sites which are often releasing films alongside their theatrical run.

According to a new release by the National Statistics Office, the four cinemas in Malta and two in Gozo aired a total of 378 film titles for a total of 27,189 screenings.

Of the 460,244 admissionis, 88.4 per cent were for films produced in the USA. Only 3.3 per cent were for films produced in Malta, which generated an €85,478 box office.

However, the picture flips when considering short films, which were overwhelmingly Maltese. These drew 3,390 admissions, 2,563 of which were for Maltese shorts, with local productions generating €2,156.

In 2019, Maltese films generated a total box office of €99,000.

Another point of note emerging from the data is the strong decline in the popularity of films produced in the European Union. Whereas 2019 saw 183 EU titles attract 43,111 admissions, in 2022 these figures amounted to 97 titles and 15,504 respectively.

In fact, the top 10 movies were all produced in the US, and between them generated close to half of all ticket sales.

The most popular films in Malta in 2022 were:

RankTitleCountryAdmissions
1Minions: The Rise of GruUSA32,795
2Top Gun: MaverickUSA28,217
3Jurassic World: DominionUSA26,946
4Avatar: The Way of WaterUSA26,857
5UnchartedUSA19,284
6The BatmanUSA18,177
7Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of MadnessUSA17,571
8Thor: Love and ThunderUSA17,311
9Spider-Man: No Way HomeUSA17,076
10ElvisUSA14,711

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