Although the Super Bowl, the “Arctic blast” in the Midwest, and the snowstorm in the Northeast undoubtedly effected turnout, moviegoers still made it into theaters this weekend. Devoid of fresh major content, the box office crowns The Little Things once again, earning $2.1M in its second weekend. This 55% drop from its opening weekend stands out from the above-average holdovers other “pandemic films” have been recording – either the older male crowd was pre-occupied with the game, or the lukewarm reviews kept folks away. In contrast, the story continues with the #2 film this weekend, The Croods: A New Age: despite it being in theaters for 11 weekends and despite being available on PVOD since mid-December, families are responsible for another $1.76M (just 3% lower than last weekend).
As always, studios spent top dollar on movie trailer advertising during the Super Bowl. Universal treated us to another F9 trailer – closing out with “in theaters soon” (as of this morning, the film is still slated for May 28th). Universal also purchased a game spot for Nobody (“in theaters only on April 2nd“) and Old (“only in theaters this summer”). Disney gave us another look at Raya and the Last Dragon before it drops on March 5th in theaters, and on Disney+ for a premium. Disney also dropped more clips for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney+. For the uninitiated, the next Marvel Cinematic Universe phase intertwines theatrical and tv releases. If you are caught up on the latest episode of the other Marvel show on Disney+, WandaVision, you know that the series is setting the groundwork for both Spider-man 3 (Q4 2021) and Doctor Strange 2 (2022). Although Paramount opted out of a theatrical release, we also got a trailer for Coming 2 America.
As we talked about before, Screenvision Media is not alone in expanding our offerings. Meeting virtually this year for the annual Dine In Cinema Summit, exhibitors discussed opportunities to transform Cinemas into Cinema Entertainment Centers: complete out-of-home destinations. At the cost of lowering theatrical screen counts, exhibitors with the real estate can get creative with their buildings to offer more to movie-goers. Bill Tishler, CEO of Fresh Strategies, shared an anecdote about remodeling a 16-screen cinema to add a barcade and bowling alley: “Once we closed down four auditoriums for demolition, we realized that there was absolutely zero impact on attendance to the facility. We weren’t dealing with an underperforming facility. We were dealing with a facility that was just too big for the marketplace.”
While it must be nice to have plenty of real estate to work with, those that don’t can still diversify their offerings by leveraging their existing assets virtually. As of this week, our friends in California and Chicago can now enjoy ordering pizza from Studio Movie Grill’s virtual pizza brand, 540 Pizza & Calzones, on Grubhub Thursday to Sunday, from 3pm to 9pm. Disclaimer: this is not a paid advertisement.