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State of the Screens

What Do The Memorial Day Numbers Mean For Theaters?

By June 3, 2021No Comments

Movie Marquee

Big news: 72% of theaters across the U.S. were open for Memorial Day weekend.

Why this matters: In a typical year, Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer movie season, which accounts for ≈ 40% of annual box office revenue.

U.S. movie ticket revenue (YoY growth) over Memorial Day weekend according to Box Office Mojo:
1) 2017 – $180.5M
2) 2018 – $227.0M (↑ 26%)
3) 2019 – $230.8M (↑ 2%)
4) 2020 – $240K (↓ 100%)
5) 2021 – $97.9M (↑ 40,612%)

Big question: With the pandemic subsiding in the U.S. and China, what could negatively impact future box office revenue?

Quick answer: Collapsing theatrical release windows for direct releases to streaming on/around premier day in theaters.

Quote from Jeff Bock – Senior Box Office Analyst @ Exhibitor Relations:
“We all know the 90-day window has been outdated for decades, as not all film or genres are created equal. Giving the studios more flexibility will ideally boost all financial sectors. Plus, it’s a sign of the times. Reaching your audience directly, engaging with them, is an an essential part of entertainment these days. And the best way to reach them is on the couch every evening.”

FYI: China’s box office revenue has ramped up faster than the U.S.

China Box Office Revenue ramped up faster than US

Fun: The history behind the Hollywood trailer!

Star Waggon Image


More #1: Hollywood’s Memorial Day Is More Vital Than Ever, Thanks to COVID


More #2: Coming Soon to Theaters: “Traffic Jam on a Box Office Superhighway”

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.

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