This will be the worst Thanksgiving box office in decades

“The Croods: A New Age” features the voices of Clark Duke, Callie Crawford and Chloris Leachman, Sandy and Gran


The week of Thanksgiving is generally a strong time at the box office, but this year the coronovirus epidemic has crippled the film industry, leaving little doubt that the November holiday will be the loss of the same fate.

Despite new content reaching theaters, the Thanksgiving box office is set to see its worst state in decades, according to comScore analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

Dargerbadian said, “The epidemic has negatively affected every traditionally important box office holiday from the fourth to the end of July, and even sidelined the almighty summer season, so it It’s no surprise that thanks will also be affected. “

Over the last decade, the five-day Thanksgiving – consisting of Sundays to Wednesdays before Thanksgiving – has resulted in more than $ 250 million in ticket sales each year. The only two years that did not hit this threshold were 2011 and 2014, but the box office tally still exceeds $ 230 million in each case.

“Usually, it’s a time frame when family and friends get together and historically it’s a big weekend,” Dargerbadian said. “This year it’s really going to be a turkey.”

Typically, Thanksgiving is host to some major film releases as well as titles released just a few weeks earlier. Families with young children will roam in theaters for animated features and others will look for blockbuster films that can be enjoyed at all ages.

77% drop at box office

Last year, “Frozen 2,” “Knife Out” and “Ford vs. Ferrari” were the top box office titles, leading a five-day run of $ 263.4 million. The tally was $ 181.4 million on sightings on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays of that weekend to remove extra days associated with the holiday.

The only major title in theaters this year is Dreamwork’s “The Crudes: A New Age”. Expectations are that the film will attract some viewers as it is a new title, but it will not make a big financial impact on the 2020 film office. The review is not glowing enough to address health concerns some consumers may have about going to the theater.

Already, the annual box office is a fraction of last year, falling more than 77% to $ 2.18 billion. Since August, when the major theater chains reopened through November 22, the box office collected only $ 279 million. During the same period last year, the box office brought in $ 2.86 billion.

In recent weeks, the number of coronovirus cases has reached historic highs and the number of theaters open to the public has shrunk. According to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopes University, the national seven-day average of daily new cases is 174,225 on Tuesday. With increasing cases, the fear is that people will shy away from public forms of entertainment despite investment from cinema owners to increase security measures in the auditorium.

Two weeks ago, 2,800 theaters opened in the US. It was the most recent weekend, with around 2,100 theaters open. It is unclear how many theaters will be open for Thanksgiving weekend, but if the number shrinks again, so does the potential box office.

$ 10 million route

At best, “The Crudes: A New Age” could reach between $ 10 million and $ 15 million during its first five days, said Doug Stone, president of the box office analyst, referring to conversations with other industry analysts Giving.

It is unclear how accurate this figure is in how different the market place is this year. Traditional prediction methods do not apply for attendance and ticket sales.

“Tenet” only made $ 9.3 million on its debut over Labor Day weekend, not including Monday’s ticket sales, and had more theaters in public. It was the biggest opening weekend for a new film in the US since the epidemic began.

“Less cinemas will have to do more business than ‘Tenet’,” Dargerbadian said.

This is not an impossible feat, but since the theaters reopened in August, the highest box office tally occurred between Box Office 4 and September 6 when “TenT” was released and sales reached $ 16.2 million. Last weekend, the domestic box office sold only $ 5.4 million in tickets. Even with two extra days of ticket sales over Thanksgiving Weekend and the debut of “The Croads” sequel, it’s unclear whether the box office will come close to reaching that top-grossing weekend in September.

Despite this, this Thanksgiving box office will not be able to move beyond $ 46.8 million, which was increased during the five-day holiday period in 1984, which has come back as data from Comscore. This would make it the worst Thanksgiving box office in decades.

The expectation is that once a vaccine is widely distributed and blockbuster films are released to the public more regularly, so that these trends reverse.

“I think that in the future, Thanksgiving will indeed return to prominence as one of the most important holidays symbolically and financially for movie theaters,” Dargerbedian said.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal owns DreamWorks Animation.

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