Mexico City.- The Covid-19 pandemic hit all industries, but it left more serious consequences in Mexican cinema, which has not been able to recover.
In the last three years, only one national film has exceeded 100 million pesos at the box office: Unhappy Forever, starring Adrián Uribe and Consuelo Duval.
The film, directed by Noé Santillán-López, collected 101.7 million pesos, according to figures from the National Chamber of the Film Industry (Canacine).
It is the title closest to the success of Cindy la Regia, which hit theaters on January 24, 2020, before the pandemic, and achieved 106 million pesos.
Mexican cinema is far from recovering the brilliance it had achieved in 2019, when the national box office was 1,767 million pesos, according to information from Canacine.
With theaters closed for months, in 2020 national films only collected 421 million pesos, but even that year was better for Mexican cinema, which in 2021 scored 277 million pesos at the box office and 390 in 2022.
For the producer Jorge Aragón, behind Unhappy Forever, these numbers are a sign that filmmakers have to reinvent their proposals, since the public changed during the health emergency due to the streaming offer.
“We are still at a critical moment for cinema at the box office, the fact that so many films have gone directly to the platforms made the public get used to seeing them that way. We need to get them to make films, but with another meaning,” Aragón pointed out. in interview.
“If we, producers and filmmakers, make the same type of films that we made before the pandemic, we are already offering them on the platforms, we have to offer them something else, give them something different so that people say ‘I’m going for that movie. to make the effort to pay for a ticket'”.
For the producer of A la Mala, understanding the new generations is vital, as he pointed out that centennials choose more carefully which films they will see before going to theaters.
The producer considers that the good result of his film at the box office is due to teamwork, which involves enough theaters with good projection schedules, the Videocine campaign and the efforts of the protagonists to promote the film.
Aragón pointed out that although the presence of Hollywood titles monopolizes the theaters, Mexican cinema will be able to compete by demonstrating quality.
“Mario Bros. is retouching the rooms. Why aren’t ours doing it? I guess we are not doing something right and we have to work to get closer to our audience again. We have done it many times.
“If we want to make blockbuster movies, they have to be the ones that our audience feels reflected in. It’s very important that we give them stories that make them feel, that make them laugh and cry, but not the way we conceive things because we are totally different generations,” he said.
Although no film released during the pandemic has entered the 30 most watched Mexican films in theaters (A Woman Without a Filter (2018) has position 30 with 103.5 million pesos), two releases this year have had the best box office performance during the health emergency: Unhappy Forever and ¡Que Viva México!
Most watched Mexican movies during the pandemic
(million box office receipts)
1. Unhappily Ever After: 101.7
2. Long live Mexico!: 74
3. And what is he like?: 65.2
4. The Waiter: 64.8
5. What a Despadre: 55.9
6. An Egg Rescue: 50.4
7. Bone: 37
8. Evil Eye: 35.4
9. The Exorcism of God: 35.4
10. Chilangolandia: 35.2
With information from the IMCINE and Canacine Statistical Yearbook.