Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Box Office Could Set Off Fireworks

Holiday * July 4th isn't usually a great moviegoing day, but having it fall on a Thursday--opening a long holiday weekend--may key bang-up ticket sales.

July 04, 2002|Richard Natale

Having the Fourth of July fall on a Thursday could give moviegoing a big boost this weekend, with school out and many people off work since some businesses closed as early as Wednesday afternoon and will not reopen until Monday.

The last time the Fourth fell on a Thursday, says Dan Marks, executive vice president of the box-office tracking firm Nielsen EDI, it resulted in a five-day record holiday led by the blockbuster "Independence Day," back in 1996.

The Fourth itself is usually a good but not spectacular day in terms of box-office receipts as Americans are preoccupied with barbecues, fireworks and other traditional Independence Day activities.

The fact that the actual celebration falls on a Thursday is significant since it's usually the weakest day of the week for ticket sales. That leaves Friday through Sunday (as well as Wednesday evening) open for moviegoing, which is one of the reasons Sony Pictures is launching "Men in Black II" in more than 3,500 theaters and 6,000 individual screens in hopes of bettering the $84-million, five-day tally for the debut of the original film, also over the Fourth of July weekend, in 1997.

For families looking for entertainment options for the children over the next several days, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. are releasing, respectively, the basketball movie "Like Mike" and the animated feature film version of "The Powerpuff Girls."

"By Friday, a lot of people will be off from work, which will increase the box-office capability" for the weekend, says Marks, making it less like a traditional Independence Day holiday period and more like the Thanksgiving weekend, one of the two or three best moviegoing weekends of the year.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|