After a challenging year for theatre operators and moviegoers alike, the light is at the end of the tunnel as cinemas dust off their popcorn makers and welcome eager audiences back in major markets nationwide.

South of the border box office hits are leaving streaming in the dust, setting the stage for excited moviegoers in Canada. And Canadians certainly love cinema, with 84% preferring the full movie experience over VOD. Blockbusters like Godzilla vs Kong and Fast and Furious franchise’s F9 are blowing up both global and domestic box offices with ticket sales to date surpassing $440MM and $250MM, respectively. Even the sleeper hit, A Quiet Place, Part II, has generated a sizeable $188MM globally, to date, prompting industry traditionalists to cheer the return of the ‘big screen’.

On Canadian soil, fans of Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway are already hopping to theatres, and the mischievous and clever Cruella has grossed over $64.5 MM in the US and Canada to date, despite streaming opportunities. One of the most anticipated summer blockbusters on the horizon, F9, hits the big screen in many open markets this weekend. Rev up your engines, Canada!

Canadian cinemas are expected to deliver a safe and enjoyable movie experience, with health and safety protocols in place. Bill Walker, CEO of Landmark Cinemas Canada noted, “Cinemas were designed for a pandemic. They offer reserved seats that face one direction, quiet auditoriums with high ceilings, predictable traffic patterns set around scheduled show times that can be staggered, and the ability to distance customers by seating them in every second row several seats apart.” And according to the Movie Theatre Association of Canada, more than one million Canadians visited movie theatres in the first and second waves of the pandemic, with zero reported instances of transmission or outbreaks associated with going to see a movie.

This year promises unprecedented variety and opportunity for moviegoers and advertisers alike, with paused 2020 blockbusters and 2021’s most anticipated films hitting theatres in unison. Contact your dedicated UB sales specialist for the full release schedule.