The Entire Weekend Box Office Report Is From a Single Drive-In in Florida
Here is a way to put the coronavirus’ impact on the American movie industry in perspective. On a typical Sunday, thousands of movie theaters around the country report their ticket sales, which are then translated into box office charts that are shared and analyzed by an entire cottage industry of journalists and experts. It is not unusual in 2020 for a major film to open on upwards of 4,000 screens in the United States, and for those major films to pull in tens of millions of dollars in a matter of days.
All of that has changed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The overwhelming majority of movie theaters around the country — not to mention the rest of the world — are temporarily closed in order to help slow the spread of the virus. As a result, all the blockbusters that would typically be filling up movie theaters at the start of the profitable summer movie season have all been pushed back until at least July or August. Other than new releases on streaming sites, and a handful of on demand releases, there are basically no “new” movies anywhere.
In fact, the weekend box office report on the website The Numbers contains just two (2) movies playing at one (1) theater in the entire United States last week. (For the record, they’re the World War II mime biopic Resistance and the psychological thriller Swallow, both from IFC Films.) That doesn’t mean there is only one theater open in the entire country — a few scattered drive-ins across the U.S. are still operating — just that this is one of the very few still showing new releases and reporting their grosses. According to journalist Gitesh Pandya, those numbers come from the Ocala Drive-In in Ocala, Florida:
Look, if I could go to a drive-in theater right now I would. (The closest one I know of was closed by the New York state’s shelter-in-place orders, but is looking to receive a waiver to reopen soon.) If you’re missing the theatrical experience, it’s probably worth Googling to see if you‘re near a drive-in. They could use your support, and they’re very social-distancing friendly. You stay in your car away from others, and you usually get a double feature for a very reasonable price. At least until the weekend box office starts growing again, it’s the best option available.
Gallery — The Biggest Second Weekends in Box Office History: