Global Giants of Exhibition 2019

The cinema business continues to take an increasingly global turn. For distributors, the impact of overseas box office receipts is well known by this point, particularly on tentpole releases. The world seems to be shrinking for exhibitors as well. Consolidation has concentrated the number of global players in the industry, with the Chinese market’s rapid growth continuing to dominate our annual Global Giants of Exhibition ranking. This year’s list of the world’s top 30 circuits by screen count features 17 Chinese-owned companies, including AMC Entertainment—which, for the first year in this ranking, is listed separately from Dalian Wanda’s presence in the APAC region. China’s robust presence on this list shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Chinese market has grown at a breakneck pace in recent years, hitting the highest-grossing month in its history with $1.6 billion collected from ticket sales in February 2019. 

In the North American market (U.S. & Canada), Marcus Theatres joins AMC, Regal (Cineworld), Cinemark, and Cineplex as the fifth circuit to operate over 1,000 screens. The benchmark comes after the acquisition of the Movie Tavern dine-in brand from Southern Theatres, completed in Q1 2019. Mexican circuit Cinemex crossed the 3,000-screen mark thanks to its own expansion in the United States under its CMX Cinemas label. Mexico has become a global leader in the cinema industry in recent years. Mexico is the only country outside the U.S. and China to have more than one representative among the world’s 10 leading exhibition circuits. On the production side, five of the last six Best Director Academy Awards have gone to Mexican filmmakers. 

According to the MPAA, the number of cinema screens around the world increased by 8 percent in 2017 to slightly over 170,000. The future suggests further growth, with emerging markets like Nigeria and Saudi Arabia poised to increase their screen counts. As more markets open their doors to the cinema business, expect this list to continue evolving in the coming years.

Ranking Circuit Country Screens
1 AMC Entertainment Inc (Wanda Intl., – China)                             U.S. 11,091
2 Cineworld UK 9,542
3 Guangdong Dadi China 6,296
4 Cinemark Theatres U.S. 6,048
5 Cinépolis Mexico 5,771
6 China Film Group Digital Cinema Line Co., Ltd. China 5,416
7 Wanda Film Co. Ltd. China 5,279
8 China Film South Cinema Circuit China 4,843
9 Shanghai United Cinema Circuit China 3,731
10 China Film Stellar Theater Chain China 3,526
11 Cinemex Mexico 3,076
12 Red Carp Digital Cinema China 2,643
13 CJ CGV South Korea 2,632
14 Hengdian Entertainment Co., Ltd.  China 2,484
15 Huaxia Film Distribution China 2,429
16 GZ. JinYiZhuJiang Movie Circuit Co.,Ltd China 2,398
17 Zhejiang Time Cinemas China 2,061
18 Omnijoi Cinema Circuit LLC China 1,953
19 Vue Cinemas UK 1,928
20 Cineplex Entertainment Canada 1,686
21 Sichuan Pacific Cinema Line Co., Ltd. China 1,669
22 Village Roadshow Australia 1,627
23 Perfect World Cinema Chain China 1,395
24 Henan Oscar Film Group China 1,313
25 Poly Wanhe Theater Chain China 1,287
26 Event Cinemas & Hospitality Australia 1,286
27 Marcus Theatres Corporation U.S. 1,098
28 Pathé Gaumont France 1,091
29 Lotte                            South Korea 1,051
30 National Amusements U.S. 942
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