While Mexico’s Economy Sinks, Moviegoers Are Buying More Tickets Than Ever

Lead Photo: Creative Commons "Toyogeki-Movie Toyooka” by Hashi Photo is licensed under CC BY 3.0 Unported
Creative Commons "Toyogeki-Movie Toyooka” by Hashi Photo is licensed under CC BY 3.0 Unported
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Sure, Mexico’s economy hasn’t seen much growth since a mutant Ken-doll named Enrique took over the government’s executive branch in 2012; but one indicator has continued growing by leaps and bounds over the last eight years with no signs of letting up: movie ticket sales. According to the latest figures from Mexico’s Cámara Nacional de la Industria Cinematográfica (Canacine), the national box office is up 10% since last year with close to 327 million tickets sold in 2016.

That places Mexico amongst the top moviegoing nations in the world, holding down the fourth place slot behind the US, China, and India. But still, Mexico’s relatively inexpensive prices – averaging about $3 per ticket – means all that doesn’t necessarily translate to dollars and cents. In fact, in terms of actual money spent on tickets, Mexico drops down to 10th place behind much smaller countries like the UK and Japan.

Top grossers this year include the country’s number one film, Captain America: Civil War, followed by Batman vs. Superman and Suicide Squad; but Hollywood’s continued dominance of Mexican screens doesn’t mean things aren’t on the up-and-up for Mexican cinema. Indeed, after a rather dismal 2015, Mexican productions bounced back with a 62% growth in sales, totaling 27.9 million tickets. Top grossers include glossy romantic comedies like the overtly classist ¿Qué culpa tiene el niño?, No manches Frida, and Treintona, soltera y fantástica.

Overall, Mexico’s film attendance appears to be booming, with signs that a commercially-oriented internal market is finally taking flight after pioneering hits like 2013’s Instructions Not Included and Nosotros los Nobles. Of course, any good news is more than welcome in Mexico’s darkening economic climate. But then again, the movie business was also booming through the Great Depression.