In need of a Bond movie... comparing Maltese cinema audiences to Rotten Tomatoes ratings

In 2015 Hollywood thrillers took the box office, but a year later Maltese cinemagoers dwindled by 4.4% and animated movies sold the popcorn at the cinemas

In 2015 Spectre grossed €286,831 in Maltese cinemas
In 2015 Spectre grossed €286,831 in Maltese cinemas

2016 saw fewer people patronising Maltese cinemas, as a clear comparison of the top 20 grossing movies in Malta shows the effect that a big movie franchise can have on admission numbers.

Admissions to cinemas dropped by 4.4 per cent in 2016 over 2015, reaching 673,487. Nearly a quarter of these cinemagoers chose a 3D-film, data released this week by the National Statistics Office shows.

Perhaps the most glaring difference between the top 20 grossing movies of 2015 and 2016 is how movie franchises like James Bond and the Fast & Furious affect admissions: in 2015 Spectre and Fast & Furious 7 respectively grossed €286,831 and €233,398, and attracted 41,369 and 36,965 patrons to the big screen.

In 2016, the top two grossing movies Suicide Squad and Finding Dory grossed €164,406 and €155,295 respectively, and attracted just 20,785 and 28,053 patrons.

Indeed a cursory glance at the top 20 movies of both years shows how shorn of the big movie franchise, 2016’s top movies were mainly animated films, which tend to attract a sizeable matinee crowd for children and parents, as well as comic book hero adaptations.

However, it must be said that over 2015 and 2016, a top grossing movie would have been Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Taken over both years, the film grossed over €208,000 and attracted over 26,100 patrons to cinemas.

Eight cinema establishments were open to the public during 2016, two of which in Gozo, having a total of 35 screens and a seating capacity of 6,771.

A total of 391 new film titles were proposed in 2016, an increase of 16 films over 2015.

74.8 per cent of cinemagoers watched films originating from the United States reaching 503,975, while 144,638 cinemagoers (21.5 per cent) watched a film originating from an EU country.