EghtesadOnline: The Iranian box office earned close to 2.4 trillion rials ($17.51 million) in the last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2019), to register an increase of 600 billion rials ($4.37 million) or about 25% compared with earnings in the year before.
As a report by Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture shows, 79 movies were released in theaters last year. Referring to box office earnings and the number of viewers, the report suggests that last year was the "golden year" of Iranian cinema.
A quarter-on-quarter review of Iranian box office earnings last year shows Iranian movie theaters sold more than 810 billion rials ($5.91 million) in spring, 610 billion rials ($4.45 million) in summer, 530 billion rials ($3.86 million) in fall and 360 billion rials ($2.62 million) in winter.
The "Iranian cinema box office website" was officially launched on Feb. 25, providing detailed information on box office earnings to the public. The website is accessible at www.panel.cinemashahr.ir, according to Financial Tribune.
Figures indicate that the movie "Centipede" directed by Abolhassan Davoodi was the highest grossing movie of the year, earning over 370 billion rials ($2.7 million) and attracting 4.21 million viewers. These figures mean the title became the all-time highest-grossing film of the Iranian cinema.
Other films that did well last year included "Murphy's Law" directed by Rambod Javan, "Sheeple" directed by Houman Seyyedi, "Texas" directed by Masoud Atyabi, "The Elephant King" directed by Hadi Mohammadian, "Damascus Time" directed by Ebrahim Hatamikia, "Confiscation" directed by Mehran Ahmadi and "Lottery" directed by Mohammad Hossein Mahdavian.
On March 19, Director General of Iranian Organization of Cinema and Audiovisual Affairs Mohammad Reza Faraji announced the decision to increase ticket prices for the new fiscal year that began on March 21.
Accordingly, movie theaters in the capital city have been categorized into four groups with ticket prices ranging from 50,000 rials ($0.36) to 180,000 rials ($1.31).
Amir Hossein Alamolhoda, an expert on cultural economics, says the number of movie theaters in Iran is far from global standards, as there is one cinema for every 180,000 people in the country, while the global standard is one cinema for 10,000.
According to Panel.cinemashahr.ir, Iranian cinemas attracted more than 28 million people last year, which shows more than a 22% increase compared to the year before.
A report by Persian daily Donya-e-Eqtesad said each Iranian goes to the movies 0.3 times per year on average.
Over 97% of ticket sales in Iran belong to domestic productions, unlike any other country in the world.
Private companies and individuals own 27% of the movie theaters while a whopping 73% belong to government or semi-government organizations.
According to the report, although the price of cinema tickets in Iran is among the cheapest in the world, the number of Iranian moviegoers is small even relative to many neighboring countries, let alone well-known movie producing countries.
The total box office sales in Iran are less than one-fourth of those in the UAE, a country whose population is over eight times less than Iran.
Data also show that Iranian box offices have earned more than 530.32 billion rials ($3.87 million) since the beginning of the current fiscal (March 21) to April 17, attracting more than four million viewers.
Seven films have been released in movie theaters so far this year.
"Rahman 1400" directed by Manouchehr Hadi has been the current year's top grosser with 224.84 billion rials ($1.64 million) and attracting close to two million viewers, followed by "6.5 Per Meter" directed by Saeed Roustayi with 165.44 billion rials ($1.2 million), and "Four Fingers" directed by Hamed Mohammadi with 67.34 billion rials ($491,580).