This year, the most popular movie in South Africa — viewed in Ster-Kinekor theatres — is Spider-Man: No Way Home, while the top films on Netflix and Showmax are Senior Year and Till Death, respectively.
The top ten list for Ster-Kinekor includes titles such as The Batman, Uncharted, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Encanto, The Lost City, and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.
MyBroadband reached out to Ster-Kinekor and Nu Metro to find out which movies were most popular at each from 1 January to mid-May this year. Nu Metro said it could not report on movies’ box office performance or attendances, as its figures won’t reflect the full local industry.
Cinemas in South Africa have been fighting an uphill battle recently as they try to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns. International streaming platforms could also pose a threat to the cinema business in South Africa.
However, cinema operators maintain they still have plenty to offer South Africans.
Ster-Kinekor believes that cinema is “central to popular culture” and is here to stay.
Nu Metro is of a similar belief. Its operational executive, Andries Basson, previously told MyBroadband that streaming services could not replace cinema.
“Cinemas deliver a multi-dimensional entertainment experience which can’t be duplicated via other platforms,” he said.
The most-popular movies screened at Ster-Kinekor this year are described briefly below.
1. Spider-Man: No Way Home
Peter Parker goes to Doctor Strange for help as he wants to make people forget about Spiderman’s identity. However, the spell doesn’t go to plan, and several unwanted guests enter their world.
2. The Batman
Batman ventures into Gotham City’s underworld to stop the Riddler’s ongoing killing spree. The Riddler leaves a series of clues for the Batman, and as the evidence leads closer to home, his sadistic plans become clear.
Victor Sullivan recruits Nathan Drake for a treasure hunt to find Ferdinand Magellan’s lost fortune. He clashes with Santiago Moncada — another treasure hunter who believes the fortune belongs to him.
4. Sing 2
Buster Moon and his group of animal performers plan a big show in the entertainment capital of their world. However, they struggle to get the world’s most reclusive rock star to join their ranks.
5. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Sonic and Tails must stop Dr Robotnik and his partner, Knuckles, from finding a magical emerald with the power to destroy entire civilisations. Sonic and Tails embark on a journey to find the emerald before it falls into Dr Robotnik’s hands.
6. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Dr Strange casts a forbidden spell that opens a gateway to the multiverse. However, a threat that could be too big for him and his team to stop presents itself.
The Mardigrals live hidden in the mountains of Columbia, in a magical place that has blessed each child in the family with a unique gift. However, Mirabel is the only child not to receive such a gift, and she may be the family’s only hope.
8. Turning Red
Mei Lee is a 13-year-old girl with a big problem — every time she gets excited, she turns into a giant red panda.
9. The Lost City
Loretta Sage — a reclusive author who writes about exotic lands — gets kidnapped while promoting her latest book. Alan, the cover man for her book, sets off to rescue her.
10. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
Professor Dumbledore becomes aware that a powerful dark wizard, Gellert Grindlewald, has plans to take control of the wizarding world. He employs the help of magizoologist Newt Scamander to stop him.