Middle East Box Office Is Recovering Faster Than Other Global Regions Largely Due to Saudi Boom

Theatrical box office returns in the Middle East are recovering faster than most other regions in the world largely thanks to Saudi Arabia’s box office growth and proliferation of screens.

That is the main takeaway of a presentation by research firm Omdia at Dubai’s Meta Cinema Forum, which is the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s top exhibition convention.

Omdia’s senior analyst Maria Rua Aguete said the total theatrical intake across the Middle East in 2021 recovered to $558 million which – while still lower than pre-pandemic total returns of $743 million – is considerably better than the world’s average box office recovery rate.

While box office in some Middle East territories has bounced back big time, thanks to a young demographic, premium screens, and a savvy balance of Hollywood blockbusters and regional content – such as Egyptian comedies and Korean and Bollywood titles – Saudi Arabia stands as probably the only country on the planet where since the pandemic box office returns have doubled.

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Image Credit: Paramount Pictures / Scott Garfield

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