Cinépolis de Plaza Satélite el domingo por la noche. Influenza en México (2017) – Wikimedia Commons

Mexican cinema in darkness: “the silence of Cinemex”

Open, closed, on-hold or with status « it is complicated », but today in Mexico there are little more than 7,500 cinema screens, one for each 17 thousand inhabitants. It is difficult to imagine that 28 years ago, in 1993, we hit rock bottom and had just 1,415 theaters, one for every 67,000 Mexicans.

It is also difficult to believe that 18 years ago, in 2003, 138 million tickets were sold, and that by 2017 Mexico had reached 330 million viewers, making it the 4th country that sold the most tickets in 2017, in 2018 and in 2019, just behind China, India and the United States.

But then came the COVID-19 pandemic, and some markets were hit harder than others. Mexico was one of them. We went from fourth to eighth in tickets sold; from place 10 to 31 at times we go to the movies each year, and we dropped from place 9 to 13 at the box office. That is why it is worth stopping and reviewing the panorama of the multiplex format and its role in the takeoff of Mexico as one of the main markets for the global film industry.

What is happening with Cinemex?

Suddenly silence. The only thing left was a website with a red background, seven letters, a logo and a well-known slogan: « The magic of cinema. » Well, if you live in Mexico City, there is also a surviving pop-up ad to buy tickets for your drive-in in Santa Fe, the most exclusive area of ​​the Mexican capital.

Then came the uncertainty.

Will Cinemex return? Although its social networks continue to congratulate the actors who have birthday (¿?), The indefinite closure of 145 of its 351 complexes in 104 cities of Mexico has been reported. Hundreds of employees are in work limbo, and since February 11, 2021, a total secrecy prevails towards moviegoers, the media and collaborators. The company only communicated that, while the rest of the CMDX and Estado de México cinemas will operate again as of Monday, March 1, they will not open until the middle of the year…

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