We have talked a lot at Last Movie Outpost about how, with the home viewing genie out of the bottle, customer habits may have been changed forever by the pandemic. Why would customers, used to the comfort and convenience of brand new blockbusters direct to their homes, return to the often expensive, inconvenient, and frustrating experience that is a trip to the modern multiplex? Is the box office doomed to fall from here?
Well, a few key bits of data make it look as if we could have been wrong. There is life in the old box office dog yet! The engine room of theater success Marvel rides to the rescue once more. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings were being kept from streaming and pushed exclusively to theaters in what was seen as an experiment to gauge the level of customer enthusiasm for a trip to the cinema in a pandemic.
And the results are good. The four-day Labor Day weekend take for the hole boix office is ahead of pre-pandemic 2019. The $135.2 million total represents a 12% increase on the 2019 total of $120.7 million.
Marvel’s return to the exclusive theater-only releases gets $71.4 million over three-days. $83.5 million over the four days breaks the record for the weekend.
Nia DaCosta’s Candyman comes second with $10.5 million over three days. Free Guy keeps going with $8.7 million over the three days. Both are also cinema exclusives.
Paw Patrol continues to haunt parents everywhere with over $5m, while Jungle Cruise keeps on ticking, also pulling in another 5 million.
Variety reports that the mood at CinemaCon was buoyant, considering the industry impact from COVID. These numbers will help exhibitors pressure studios to return to exclusive theater windows across the board.