Although household consumption continues to decline in the midst of the current economic slowdown, Colombians’ spending on entertainment activities, such as going to the movies, remains the same. At least that is what the statistics of the sector show that indicate that en the first semester of the year, the attendance of people to the different cinemas of the country grew close to 50 percent with respect to the same period of the previous year.

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Figures for this market, provided by the Cadbox portal, owned by the Colombian Association of Film Distributors (Acdpd) indicate that in the first six months of 2023, about 29.5 million people went to a movie theater in the country, about 10 million more than those registered in the same period last year.

The same entity points out that the box office that left that assistance in the first half of the year exceeded 360,122 million pesos, with April being the month with the highest collection in that period with 86,575 million and February with the lowest with 37,689 million.

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But those are not the only figures that show the return of Colombians to the cinema. As commented by Munir Falah, president of Cine Colombia on his Twitter account, Public attendance at movie theaters between Thursday, July 20, and Sunday, July 23, would have been the second highest in the country’s history.

According to the manager, it is estimated that this massive attendance brought together around 1.83 million people in the different cinemas of the country. So far, according to Falah, That historical record is still held by the more than 1.98 million viewers who attended a movie theater between April 25 and Sunday 28, 2019.

The massive attendance at movie theaters is motivated, among other factors, by the phenomenon called ‘Barbenheimer’, a term coined to indicate the simultaneous premiere in the world, including Colombia, of two films of totally opposite genres.

The movies

An attendee points to her Barbenheimer T-shirt outside the convention center during San Diego Comic-Con International in San Diego, California on July 20, 2023.

According to Pía Barragán, Cine Colombia’s Distribution Manager, said film «raises 337 million dollars worldwide and gives theaters a rosy break, after the poor results of Mission Impossible and Indiana Jones,» he wrote on his Twitter account.

The «Barbenheimer» phenomenon began a circular ahead of the simultaneous release of the Barbie films, a comedy directed by Greta Gerwig about the famous fashion doll of the same name, and Oppenheimer, the biographical thriller written and directed by Christopher Nolan about physicist Robert Oppenheimer, director of the Manhattan Project, who developed the first nuclear weapons during World War II. This term is the fusion of those two words.

household spending falls

Colombian families had to reduce the size of the basket with which they market.


Getty Images / CEET Archive

The massive attendance at the cinema that shows the figures of the Colombian market in the first months of the contrast with those that show how household spending in the country is presented in June eight months down, according to what was reported by the consulting firm, which indicate that for the sixth month of 2023 said consumption fell by 4 percent reaching 80.8 billion pesos.

Of total household spending in the sixth month of the year, 4.68 percent went to entertainment, a share that is declining, according to the Raddar report.

The same report shows that For every 100 pesos, Colombians spent 5.8 pesos on entertainment. Food for the home and housing are the items that most monopolize the budget of families in the country, 31.2 and 23.9 percent.

And compared to last May, entertainment was one of the items to which the least budget resources were allocated in June, only 0.03 percent, precisely the consulting firm.