A Classic Tradition Under Fire:Thanksgiving and The MOvies

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by | Nov 23, 2020 | Homepage, Trending

Thanksgiving and Movies… The Perfect Combo

I don’t know about you, but one of my family’s sacred traditions is going to the beloved local Regal on Thanksgiving. There is just something about waking up late on that Thursday morning to the smell of the holiday rushing through the entire house just to keep those cozy pajamas on and head out to the movies with family. For as long as I knew, my sister, dad and I would always go see whatever new movie was premiering on Thanksgiving while my mom cooked up the delicious annual meal. Thanksgiving is known to be one of the most popular days for movie theatres around the states, especially as they are used as a distraction to keep the mind at ease while the hunger for the evenings events kick in. 

The fact is, many people get more days off for Thanksgiving weekend than they do Christmas or any other Holiday. The November holiday always begins on Thursday, and for many this means they have plenty of free time between then and Sunday. And these theatre industries bank on the fact that, sometime in all that free time, people just might want to sit back and relax at the movies with their friends and family. The months of November and December have always brought in the big bucks for the movie industry, but with the rise of this virus that is severely in jeopardy this year. Theatres are still releasing movies periodically, but only one stands alone this Thanksgiving day: Croods: A New Age. Unlike recent years where several big blockbusters premiere the night before the holiday, the theatres will be quiet this time around.

Before the coronavirus actually hit, media analysts already predicted the year of 2020 to be one of the worst years in movie theatre history because of Netflix and other TV shows and movie streaming apps really starting to take off. Recently, the box office hit a 20-year low and was down 60% from a year ago. Losing money and having to let go of employees all around has affected theatres and individuals greatly. 

But in recent light, some movie theatres decided to reopen. I know that the Regal in my hometown of Downingtown Pennsylvania has reopened with COVID-19 precautions: purchasing tickets online only, having certain rows and seats blocked off to keep social distancing, and no longer having the candy stands available for customer pick. The snack station is still opened too as the employees wear their masks as well as gloves when handling food. Unfortunately, this is not the case for other Regal theatres as 340-400 locations out of the total 536 sites have already decided to close down until further notice. Regal in the pre-pandemic marketplace fueled 18% of the domestic box office. Sources say that share fell to about 13%-14% during the pandemic. Regal is not the only theatre complex standing though as their downfall makes less competition for AMC, Cinemark and others. 

With there being only one movie standing for a Thanksgiving premiere, the outcome is questionable. Though I do have high hopes for the new movie since it is for a younger audience, so while one parent is preparing, the other can get the kids out of the house and take them to the movies to lessen the commotion. I would not expect movie theatres to be jam-packed on Thanksgiving due to the current state of the virus and everyone taking precautions. Ticket sales this year compared to the past are destined to be down. 

What are your Thanksgiving traditions and how have they been altered by the pandemic?

Keep an eye out for Dr. Audrey Guskey’s Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday predictions later this week..they may not be what you expect!

Shopping online for the holidays? Keep your spending in check with these tips:  8 Online Shopping Hacks to Guarantee Holiday Savings

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