Box Office Sales Fell to Historic Lows Over the Weekend

Ticket sales plummet amid coronavirus pandemic

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Box Office Sales Fell to Historic Lows Over the Weekend

This past weekend was reportedly the worst in box office history. In these difficult times, sitting in a cramped room for two hours with dozens of strangers is not a good public health move. And the box office take appropriately plummeted: Domestic ticket sales rounded out to around $55.3 million, a 44% percent drop from last weekend.

The New York Times cites Comscore for the box office data, noting that “Hollywood may have just had its worst weekend since ticketing data started to be independently compiled in the 1980s.” The box office decline coincides with the postponement of many major film releases, including No Time to Die and A Quiet Place Part II, among many others.

Onward, the Pixar and Disney film, brought in $10.5 million in North America, a 73% drop from its first weekend. Surprisingly, the faith-focused film I Still Believe, approached Onward in ticket sales, with $9.5 million at the box office, according to the Times. Bloodshot, which stars Vin Diesel, took in $9.3 million over the weekend. The controversial film The Hunt, which billed itself as “the most talked about movie of the year” in the trailer, only brought in $5.3 million.

Soon, going to the movies won’t be a possibility for many. An executive order signed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will close movie theaters, concert venues and nightclubs by Tuesday, March 17, at 9 a.m. Restaurants and cafes will transition to delivery and take-out options only.

De Blasio wrote, “The virus can spread rapidly through the close interactions New Yorkers have in restaurants, bars and places where we sit close together. We have to break that cycle.”

As box office sales decline and theaters shutter, the film festival market has also experienced a downturn. Last week, Tribeca Film Festival, which was previously set for April 15-26, announced that it would be posponed. South by Southwest Festival, which was scheduled for March 13-22, was canceled on Friday, March 6.

So … streaming it is.

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