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Photo: Noam Galai/WireImage

Box offices in the U.S. earned $4.5 billion during 2021, a 101% increase from 2020 sales but still nearly 60% less than what they made in 2019, CNN reports citing Comscore.

The big picture: Analysts don't expect the box office to recover meaningfully until 2022 despite blockbuster hits like "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home."

  • "2022 is when we can start to assess what we've learned over the past many months and then perhaps make bold statements about the future of the industry," Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian told Axios in September.

Details: Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com, told CNN that 2022 could be a better year for the box office given the slate of new releases coming, though it's ultimately up to movie theaters and what they offer the public.

  • Marvel, the biggest blockbuster brand, is set to release "Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness," "Thor: Love and Thunder" and "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" in 2022.
  • Horror films such as Jordan Peele's "Nope" and action films like "Top Gun: Maverick" with Tom Cruise will also be released in 2022.

Yes, but: Online movie streaming also became popular over the pandemic and some of the films released this year may also send movies to streaming services to boost sales, per CNN.

  • When the box office gets back to its peak of $40 billion like it did in 2019 will be determined by "the overall consumer base" who "will continue to be abnormally divided between those going back, those wanting to go back, and those who won't go back nearly as often as they used to," Robbins said, per CNN.

Go deeper

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen co-opts Reaganomics phrase for new Davos speech

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at a speech this week. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The U.S. needs to focus on increasing its productive potential, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told world leaders Friday, calling for what she terms "modern supply side economics."

Why it matters: She co-opted a phrase traditionally used by political conservatives to describe low-tax and deregulatory policies — and framed the Biden administration's initiatives as the best path forward to achieve greater national prosperity.