As the Christmas buzz dies down, all the presents are unwrapped, and relatives head for the airport, what do you do with your fleeting empty moments? You head for the movies!
According to the National Association of Theater Owners, “Thanksgiving is historically the busiest day of the year for movie theaters – and Christmas is a close second.” Theater ticket sales nearly double on Christmas Day, and during the following week. For example, Box Office Mojo reports that 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was the highest grossing film of any single Christmas Day, grossed a total of $49,325,663, which accounted for 5.3% of its total revenue over its 168 day run.
Releasing a film during the peak of the holiday season is strategic on the part of the studios. A holiday release gives moviegoers more opportunities to catch films in theaters, as a result of long breaks off of school or work. Films released during this time period typically fall into one of two categories. The first is the prestige film category, which is categorized by a lower budget and as less advertised film that tries to throw its hat in the ring to snag an Oscar nomination, before the award’s release deadline on December 31. The other releases are usually the most advertised and are the films that studios predict will draw in the broadest demographic of viewers. Late December releases are also the last call for films that are speculated to be economically good for their respective studios before the “dump” movies are released throughout January and February. These movies are not expected to perform as well as the more advertised films, but are contractually required to be released by the studio.
Christmas Day persists as a prevalent day for the box office, for non-celebrators of the holiday and for families who do not have any other plans, and need to find something to do on a day where virtually everything is closed. However you celebrate the holidays, Christmas is a holiday that should be spent in the company of family and loved ones, whether it be around the fireplace or in the movie theater.