1. ## Re: Box Office Accounting

Originally Posted by 757690
I got it from movies of mine that were distributed to theaters.

Here is an article that explains everything better than I did.

Here's some rather simple math to show you what I'm talking about.

Say you have a 100M\$ grossing movie, the weekly breakdowns of that movie (based on historical trends) would look something like this:

WK 1 - 38.5M\$, WK 2 - 23.1M\$, WK 3 - 13.9M\$, WK 4 - 8.3M\$, WK 5 - 5.0M\$, WK 6 - 3.0\$, WK7+ - 8.2M\$

Now let's say the studio take is WK 1 - 70%, WK 2 - 60%, WK 3 - 50%, WK 4 - 40%, WK 5 - 30%, WK 6 - 20%, WK 7+ - 10% (these % takes would correspond with your article fyi)

So here's the studio's take on that hypothetical 100M\$ grossing film: WK 1 - 27.0M\$, WK 2 - 13.9M\$, WK 3 - 7.0M\$, WK 4 - 3.3M\$, WK 5 - 1.5M\$, WK 6 - 0.6M\$, WK 7+ - .8M

For a combined Studio Take of 54.1M\$ or 54% and a Theater take of 45.9M\$ or 46%.

Theaters can joke all they want about being in the candy business but they make a ton of money off of tickets. The focus may be on the concessions because they return a near 99% profit on popcorn.

The only way a movie theater is only making money on concessions is if it keeps a movie for only a week (which let me tell you based on actual theater industry service that is all but impossible), or it only has 1-2 screens. There were over 4,000 theaters when I worked in that industry and the average screen size was about about 16.

3. ## Re: Box Office Accounting

This is why you almost always here the "doubling to break even" figures reported as gospel. A studio has to sell twice as much in tickets as it does in production/advertising costs to break even because it's only bringing home ~50% of the ticket sales.

This of course is way oversimplified now with movies being made solely for consumption overseas. Studios take home even less on those movies but advertising budgets are normally much cheaper too as it costs less to advertise there.

4. ## Re: Box Office Accounting

So you're saying that the studio take is generally 50% or less from week 3 on? That's not much.

5. ## Re: Box Office Accounting

They pay each theater a fee to show their movie
A film booker leases a movie to a particular theater for a set period of weeks.
What am I missing here...is there some nuance involved? Does it depend on the movie? I'm reading one thing that says the studio pays the theater to show a movie...the other says the booker "leases it to the theater" - which would mean the theater pays, right?

6. ## Re: Box Office Accounting

Originally Posted by kaldaniels
What am I missing here...is there some nuance involved? Does it depend on the movie? I'm reading one thing that says the studio pays the theater to show a movie...the other says the booker "leases it to the theater" - which would mean the theater pays, right?
All I can say is that we paid the theaters to show the movies every time. But I guess it depends on the movies. We were dealing with small independent features. Maybe Star Wars and Marvel movies don’t have to pay the theaters?

7. ## Re: Box Office Accounting

Originally Posted by Kinsm
Here's some rather simple math to show you what I'm talking about.

Say you have a 100M\$ grossing movie, the weekly breakdowns of that movie (based on historical trends) would look something like this:

WK 1 - 38.5M\$, WK 2 - 23.1M\$, WK 3 - 13.9M\$, WK 4 - 8.3M\$, WK 5 - 5.0M\$, WK 6 - 3.0\$, WK7+ - 8.2M\$

Now let's say the studio take is WK 1 - 70%, WK 2 - 60%, WK 3 - 50%, WK 4 - 40%, WK 5 - 30%, WK 6 - 20%, WK 7+ - 10% (these % takes would correspond with your article fyi)

So here's the studio's take on that hypothetical 100M\$ grossing film: WK 1 - 27.0M\$, WK 2 - 13.9M\$, WK 3 - 7.0M\$, WK 4 - 3.3M\$, WK 5 - 1.5M\$, WK 6 - 0.6M\$, WK 7+ - .8M

For a combined Studio Take of 54.1M\$ or 54% and a Theater take of 45.9M\$ or 46%.

Theaters can joke all they want about being in the candy business but they make a ton of money off of tickets. The focus may be on the concessions because they return a near 99% profit on popcorn.

The only way a movie theater is only making money on concessions is if it keeps a movie for only a week (which let me tell you based on actual theater industry service that is all but impossible), or it only has 1-2 screens. There were over 4,000 theaters when I worked in that industry and the average screen size was about about 16.
Thanks for the clarification.

But you are talking only about big hit movies. The vast majority of movies don't last 7 weeks in the theater, let alone beyond that. And no offense, but your numbers are way off in terms of the break down, even of hit movies.

Here are the numbers for the latest Planet of the Apes movie, and if you go to Box Office Mojo, you will see that most movies mirror these numbers:

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/...ftheapes16.htm

Total gross so far:

\$146M

First week: \$77M (53%)
Second week: \$31M (21%)
Third week: \$16M (10%)
Forth week: \$9M (6%)
Fifth week: \$3M (2%)
Sixth week: \$2M (1%)
Seventh week on: \$3M (2%)

So the studios make over half of their ticket sales in the first week, and by the third week, they have taken over 80% of their ticket sales.

Now, maybe it was different when you worked for AMC, the movie industry has changed greatly in the last decade or so. But this is how it is now, and this is what I have been dealing with.

8. ## Re: Box Office Accounting

I worked at a major movie theater chain back in the day myself and the GM told me out of the gates they would get \$.50 a ticket and that the longer movie was out, the more the theater made at the box office. Granted, this was ages ago now, but he confirmed that they really made most of their money on concessions. This is why people complain about concession prices and/or try to sneak in food. I laugh now too because the theater wanted the door people to ask to see bags as a "security" precaution, but it was really used to see if people were trying to sneak in a bunch of food.

Also, in terms of who sets the prices at the theater box office, our place was very sensitive to what the competitor was charging. They never wanted to be under or over and the competitor opened before our place had. I would guess, and I could be wrong, that there is probably a minimum they have to charge that is based on the market it is being shown in. They can probably charge more whenever they see fit. Again though, a lot has changed since my days as a teenager.

9. ## Re: Box Office Accounting

Originally Posted by fearofpopvol1
I worked at a major movie theater chain back in the day myself and the GM told me out of the gates they would get \$.50 a ticket and that the longer movie was out, the more the theater made at the box office. Granted, this was ages ago now, but he confirmed that they really made most of their money on concessions. This is why people complain about concession prices and/or try to sneak in food. I laugh now too because the theater wanted the door people to ask to see bags as a "security" precaution, but it was really used to see if people were trying to sneak in a bunch of food.

Also, in terms of who sets the prices at the theater box office, our place was very sensitive to what the competitor was charging. They never wanted to be under or over and the competitor opened before our place had. I would guess, and I could be wrong, that there is probably a minimum they have to charge that is based on the market it is being shown in. They can probably charge more whenever they see fit. Again though, a lot has changed since my days as a teenager.
Yeah - we've got automobiles now.

10. ## Re: Box Office Accounting

Very timely article:
https://io9.gizmodo.com/disney-to-th...ing-1820052024
According to the Wall Street Journal, theater owners have to agree to a serious and unusual set of terms in order to earn the privilege of showing the new Star Wars movie. First, Disney is insisting on a 65 percent share of ticket-sales revenue, up from a standard 55 percent asked by most Hollywood studios, what WSJ calls “a new benchmark.” Disney is also requiring theaters to reserve at least four weeks in the largest auditorium available exclusively for The Last Jedi screenings. And if a theater violates any of the above terms? Well, then Disney reserves the right to charge an additional five percent of ticket sales revenue as penalty for the violation. This includes if the theater cancels even one screening of the film without Disney’s consent.

For those with WSJ access:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/disney-...edi-1509528603

11. ## Re: Box Office Accounting

Originally Posted by klw
I almost threw that movie out as a question earlier. The leverage Disney has is incredible. If a big chain didn’t show it it would be devastating.

12. ## Re: Box Office Accounting

So generally the ticket revenue is split pretty evenly (55%) between studio and theater. Makes you wonder why they're always publishling gross revenue since that's nowhere near what the studio gets

- - - Updated - - -

Originally Posted by fearofpopvol1
I worked at a major movie theater chain back in the day myself and the GM told me out of the gates they would get \$.50 a ticket and that the longer movie was out, the more the theater made at the box office. Granted, this was ages ago now, but he confirmed that they really made most of their money on concessions. This is why people complain about concession prices and/or try to sneak in food. I laugh now too because the theater wanted the door people to ask to see bags as a "security" precaution, but it was really used to see if people were trying to sneak in a bunch of food.

Also, in terms of who sets the prices at the theater box office, our place was very sensitive to what the competitor was charging. They never wanted to be under or over and the competitor opened before our place had. I would guess, and I could be wrong, that there is probably a minimum they have to charge that is based on the market it is being shown in. They can probably charge more whenever they see fit. Again though, a lot has changed since my days as a teenager.
So what was the cost of a ticket back then? Just a few bucks?

13. ## Re: Box Office Accounting

Originally Posted by 757690
Thanks for the clarification.

Now, maybe it was different when you worked for AMC, the movie industry has changed greatly in the last decade or so. But this is how it is now, and this is what I have been dealing with.

I worked in the industry in the last decade. I'm talking about wide release films - there are less than 180 of them a year - roughly 2 to 3 a week. 90% of them are distributed from the big six studios. The % dropoffs on one of those films is historically 60% 2nd week, 60% 3rd week, so on. You showing me the box office take for one film does not disprove those trends. Yes, most movies last 7 weeks in theaters, in fact most wide release films last 13 weeks - they simply shed hundreds of theaters every week before they are through.

I've shown you the figures, which even correlated to your original article's findings, you can decide to believe that breakdown or not, it's up to you. A theater telling you they don't make money on tickets is like listening to a sugar lobbyist saying their farmers need subsidized by the American taxpayer, which is complete horsepucky.

FYI - a far better site for your appetite into industry figures is the-numbers.com

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