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Thanksgiving Brings More Movie Ticket Sales; Cinema Still Not Recovered from Coronavirus

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:

Sarah Whitten, "Hunger Games Prequel, 'Napoleon' Lead as Thanksgiving Box Office Shows Signs of Life," CNBC, 2023.11.26.
Sarah Whitten, “Hunger Games Prequel, ‘Napoleon’ Lead as Thanksgiving Box Office Shows Signs of Life,” CNBC, 2023.11.26.

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.


  1. sx123 2023-11-27 06:17

    86″ (yes, 86) LG flatscreens are under $1000. Tough to leave the living room couch for kit like that.

  2. e platypus onion 2023-11-27 08:30

    I got my SS check on the Wed before Thanksgiving and decided I wanted to wait for Black Friday to hit Wal Mart. Then, I decided there would be so many shoppers on BF I wouldn’t get an electric cart to use for shopping. I went there Wednesday and there weren’t any carts available for nearly a half hour. I still managed to spend nearly 200 bucks and got no flat screen tvs.

    I don’t necessarily like spending much money in Chinatown, but I still need to watch most pennies every month.

  3. grudznick 2023-11-29 19:47

    Carts are nice, eh, Mr. Mike? Even there in Iowa, carts like what Mr. Novstrup, the elder, rents to race around a little track are fun.

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