3 thoughts on “The Shortened Theatrical Window Is Reducing the Enthusiasm Gap

  1. I’ll be honest – I went to see Shang Chi in the theaters less than a month ago, and I enjoyed it there, but I think I enjoyed it more at home this weekend. I could pause as necessary and break it up, and I think that I enjoyed the slower parts more than when I was fighting my bladder in the theater. With the turnaround on this and Black Widow being so quick (and the reviews of Eternals being so ho-hum), I am tempted to wait for Eternals at home as well.

  2. I think it’s too early to identify any real trends about general audience behavior because I don’t think we’re seeing the general public go back to theaters yet. The pandemic is far from over and infection rates vary too wildly around the country and from week to week.

    Looking at weekend box office grosses (via the-numbers.com), it’s clear that when there is no new scifi/superhero/action movie being released, fewer people go to the theaters. Shang-Chi for instance came out 9/3 and made $75.4M which was 68% of the total box office receipts that weekend. But the next weekend, it made only $34.7M and yet was still 57% of the total box office; Shang-Chi went down 54% but all movies went down a combined 57%.

    The next movie to be #1 ranked two weekend was Dune which did $41.1M the first weekend (42% of the $96.5M total) and dropped to $15.4M the second (24% of $64.3M). And now The Eternals did $71.3M (66% of $108M) and then $26.9 (39% of $68.9M).

    The trend I think we can see at this point, is that some people will consistently turn out for Event Movies but once that narrow audience has seen it, few people are following that lead. While a new major release each weekend can keep the total box office around $110M, those without anything new slump down around $64M. I think the real test will be when the total average attendance is back up. At that point will movies continue to burn bright and fast?

    I myself would have loved to have seen Shang-Chi in theaters. As a San Francisco resident, it would be been a big thrill to cheer the bus scene with my neighbors or to laugh at how a few aspects of living in The City are depicted. But I didn’t feel like it was worth going to the theaters. I’ve been careful and cautious for a long time and as fun as the movie would have been, it wasn’t worth it.

  3. No worse experience than seeing a movie at the theater. Me, I’ll see it when the DVD drops to $5.

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