Filmgoers queue outside the Albéniz box office in Malaga city. / Migue Fernández

Cinemagoers flock back to the big screen

Cinemas across Malaga province enjoy a recovery after being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic restrictions

FRANCISCO GRIÑÁN MALAGA.

In just the last two weeks of 2022 the sequel to Avatar has filled the cinemas, becoming the highest-grossing film of last year. It comes as cinemas across Malaga province enjoy a recovery after the pandemic.

Data from Comscore and Aedava shows that more than two million tickets were sold in 2022, which is 61 per cent more than the previous year and fifteen per cent above the Spanish average. Malaga province maintains its sixth place in the national ranking with box office takings of 13 million euros, up 70 per cent on 2021. Naturally the buoyant figures are a huge relief to the cinemas which had endured almost three years of the pandemic.

In Andalucía, Malaga province has the most expensive ticket prices which last year stood at an average of 6.20 euros, 5.6 per cent more than in 2021. However, the Malaga billboard offers below-average seats if you know how to choose the day and the theatre. For example, the highly-rated Avatar or any other premiere can be seen for 4.90 euros at the Multicines Rosaleda in Malaga city (from Monday to Thursday), while in the Pixel de Coín has a general admission tickets for five euros all week. By contrast, the most expensive tickets are priced at 8.50 euros at Plaza Mayor and Vialia in Malaga, Miramar in Fuengirola and La Cañada in Marbella.

Effect of pandemic

Although the pandemic has not led to the closure of cinemas, the health crisis has affected the survival of some cinemas which, after the closure of theatres and limited seating capacity, have ended up changing hands or have reinvented themselves to attract audiences. This is the case in Marbella, where its two cinemas have been completely renovated. Cine Teatro Goya ceased to manage the screens in Puerto Banús, which are now operated by Red Dog Cinemas, and is now mainly catering for the expat community with the majority of its titles in the original English-language version with subtitles.

After Avatar, the other films that led the box office in Spain in 2022 were Jurassic World: Dominion (18.1 million euros) and, in third place, the first national film, Father, there is only one 3 (15.6 million euros), by Santiago Segura. It is followed by Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (13.1 million euros), Uncharted (12.2 million euros) and, in sixth place, the Spanish animated film Tadeo Jones 3. The Emerald Table (11.7 million euros). The ten most-watched films of the year surpassed the 10 million euro mark for the first time since 2019.