The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) has released the annual South African Box Office Report. The report gives an overview of the performance of films released in local cinemas (also known as the box office) and provides a trend of performance over a 10-year period.
The report indicates the performance of films released to the South African box office in 2021 by examining the total annual revenue and key drivers of audience consumption outlining the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on SA’s film industry. The report also looks at determinants of box office revenue and the trends of films released between 2012 and 2021.
Key findings from the report indicate that South Africa’s box office revenue amounted to over R325m for the year 2021. Most of this revenue was generated by 10 of the 155 films released in the country – and none of the top 10 films was produced locally. South Africa produced fourteen (9%) of the 155 films released in cinemas. The NFVF partially funded two of the 14 films produced in South Africa in 2021, namely Bakarat (comedy/drama) and SanDance (documentary).
The report does not evaluate the revenue and key audience drives for films released on subscription video on demand (SVOD) platforms however, it does indicate that in 2021, there were 18 South African films released to the SVOD platforms Showmax, Netflix and the DSTV’s OTT service ‘Box Office’.
The ten-year trend analysis indicated that the revenue of all box office films produced in South Africa fluctuated annually but showed an overall downward trend from R84m in 2012 to R60m in 2019. 2013 was the best performing in the last decade, generating R101m, while 2021 was the worst-performing year and generated only R2.5m due to the impact of the pandemic and its associated lockdowns. The number of domestic films released during this period declined from 19 in 2012 to 14 in 2021.
The forecast model used showed that the revenue would have continued an upward trajectory without the impact of the pandemic. While it is unclear at this stage when the film industry will return to its pre-pandemic performance, local filmmakers will need additional support from key partnerships from the public and private sectors underpinned by innovative ideas as a supplementary intervention to the existing limited to supplement the government support.
The full report is available here.