The audience left, the popcorn remained

The revenue of cinema bars in 2020 fell in proportion to the collection of cinemas – by 60%, but the recovery of sales of popcorn and snacks, unlike cinema gatherings, cinemas are not expected until 2022. The new rules, according to which cinemas will be able to prohibit viewers from coming to screenings with their food, will help insignificantly, according to market participants.

According to Delovoy Rus, the revenue of Russian film bars at the end of 2020 decreased by about 60% in rubles, to 9 billion rubles, Iskander Aminov, vice president of the company, told Kommersant. This drop is similar to the drop in box office receipts for cinemas: as previously estimated by the Cinema Fund, they fell by 58.8% in rubles and by 59.6% in terms of the number of tickets sold.

Cinema bars are an important line of business for movie theaters, accounting for about 35% of revenues and a significant share of profits. If movie distributors take half of the box office, then the cinemas don’t share the proceeds from popcorn, nachos and drinks with anyone. Delovaya Rus is their largest wholesale supplier; the group estimates its market share at 60–65%. In 2019, according to Delovaya Rus’ estimates, the revenue of film bars increased by 12%, to 22.4 billion rubles, and in 2018, as Kommersant reported on March 4, 2019, it fell by 6-12%. up to 20 billion rubles.

Tatyana Saklakova, head of the café and bar department of the joint network Formula Kino and Cinema Park, agrees that the revenue of the chain’s cinema bars has decreased by 60%. In “Karo” they say that their revenue fell slightly less than fees. “In cinemas with less traffic, the average check tends to grow, therefore, sales of movie bars in percentage terms fell less than a box office,” explains Olga Proskuryakova, vice president of marketing, cafes and movie bars at Karo, without specifying digits.

A source familiar with Karo’s numbers says bar sales fell “more than 50%” with the box office plummeting 60%.

In 2021, market participants are seeing a recovery in sales, but do not expect a quick return to pre-crisis levels. “We are already seeing positive dynamics, but with a noticeable lag behind the 2019 figures. The past and upcoming big premieres, including ” The Last Bogatyr-2 ”, ” Mortal Kombat ”, ” Fast and the Furious 9 ” affect the attendance, deferred demand and family content are also working now, and the revenue of movie bars is reviving ”, – says Iskander Aminov. The market will reach the pre-pandemic level after the return of attendance to the level of 2019, as well as after the removal of restrictions on the number of spectators in the hall, he predicts. The united network believes that the market will reach the pre-crisis level no earlier than 2022.

As Kommersant reported on March 19, 2021, the Ministry of Culture may approve a ban on viewers from coming to the sessions with their food. Such a ban is being promoted by the cinema chains, hoping that it will contribute to a 10% increase in the revenue of cinema bars. Olga Proskuryakova says this measure should “economically help cinemas.” Iskander Aminov believes that the impact of the new rules on the profitability of movie bars is not obvious. “Additional personnel will be required to control the entrances to the halls, and this is a cost. The current consumption model cannot be changed quickly: a ban on bringing food into halls can lead to the opposite effect – viewers can completely abandon bar purchases in favor of fast food or retail, or go to a cinema that is more loyal to this measure. In general, the most optimistic estimate is a 5-10% increase in sales, ”he said.

Valeria Lebedeva