Speaking of spending, movie theaters appear to have enjoyed their best Thanksgiving since the pandemic. Indeed, the theater I sat in Friday to watch The Holdovers (recommended!) seemed more populated than the few other cinemas in which I have sat for the past few years (I gotta get out and see more movies before this whole quaint custom of watching figments of imagination flitter across a giant screen in front of a group of enrapt strangers disappears). Cinema number-crunchers are guessing Americans bought $172 million worth of movie tickets from last Wednesday through Sunday—the best haul of the last four winter holiday kickoffs, but still only 54% of the pre-pandemic record, $315.6 million in 2018, and the $200M+ box office returns of the years around that:
If Wonka and Aquaman can draw a billion dollars’ worth of business at the December box office, movie ticket sales could top $9 billion this year, which, similar to the Thanksgiving cinema turnstile returns, would be a pandemic-era best but still lag behind the consistent eight-digit yearly takes from 2008 through 2018.