With the box office largely shuttered for the last five months in North America, this weekend saw the slow restart to theatrical releases. In the United States movie theatres are going to begin the slow process of welcoming moviegoers to their locations. With most of the big releases pushed back to the fall and into next year, many of the releases are smaller films and movies opening in limited release.
The reality of the movie going experience has changed. I visited a theatre in Canada over the weekend for the Canadian theatrical release of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run. The film opened at the top spot at the domestic box office with an estimated $900,000 at 300 screens in Canada. The theatre that I visited has reduced seating capacity at the theatre to less than half with new measures inside the theatres to help patrons social distance. One way separated walkways through the aisles, separate queues to line up to purchase tickets / concessions, masks worn by staff and customers (adhering to local by-laws), and requests that no one arrive more than 15 minutes before showtime.
The theatre wasn’t very full, which is understandable. There is still much uncertainty with the current state of the pandemic. If the theatre can maintain what they have been doing, and everyone going to movies plays their part in making the experience a safe one, then going to the movies might become a reality again. While watching a movie at home and purchawing/renting a movie in the living room is all well and good, it doesn’t beat the feeling of watching a movie on the big screen.
- The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run (Paramount) $900k
- Unhinged (VVS) $582k
- The Tax Collector (RJLE) $203k
- The Rental (IFC) $78k
- The Big Ugly (Vertical) $24k