Movie theaters thankful for long holiday weekend
BULLHEAD CITY — Thanksgiving and Black Friday are two of the busiest movie-going days of the year, launching the holiday blockbuster season.
Local theaters report they expect to see an additional 4,600 customers over the two-day period.
“Black Friday is our busiest day of the year,” said Jay Agregado, manager of Phoenix Theaters Laughlin Stadium 9. “Last year we had a total of 1,134 customers come through our doors wanting to watch a movie. That number seems to keep on going up because (several) years ago we had 800 customers, then 900, then it went down to 700 and last year it was 1,134. If the trend keeps on going I think we’ll be above last year’s number.”
Riverside Cinema Six Plex at Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino sees its bigger bump on Thanksgiving day.
“For us, Black Friday really isn’t a busy day,” said manager Fred Jones. “Our busy day is Thanksgiving Day and last year we had a little over 3,500 people come to our movie theater. Before the economy went down we were seeing about 1,100 people every two hours but today we are down to 500-600 people a day. So 3,500 people on Thanksgiving is big for us but it’s something that we are equipped to handle.”
In order to prepare for the rush of Black Friday, Agregado said that they have a crew of four working the concession stands and an extra four managers.
“With the increase in customers our revenue does go up on Black Friday,” said Agregado. “Last year we made about $8,000 on movie sales and snack sales. It makes sense because a lot of our customers on that day are large families and groups of friends.”
Riverside said the bump in revenue will extend through the week.
“We do see an increase of revenue on Thanksgiving Day but really all week our revenue is up,” said Jones. “People come through Laughlin and stay in the hotels during the holidays which drives up our revenue.”
Three feature films opened on Wednesday, Disney’s “Ralph Breaks The Internet,” “Creed 2” and “Robin Hood.”
“Ralph Breaks The Internet” is expected to break records with a $94 million box office for the five-day period after reaching more than $18 million in sales on Wednesday, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
Wednesday matinee tallies for “Creed” exceeded
$11 million, putting it on target to reach $60 million in sales over the holiday period, while “Robin Hood” is expected to gross close to $18 million.
“I do think that the new movies that came out during the week will bring in more customers,” said Agregado. “But surprisingly, our number one seller so far has been Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Grinch.’ So if people would like to avoid the rush at our movie theater I would highly recommend that they come for the first showings around 9 a.m. The lines start to pick up around 11 a.m. and by 2 p.m. we are slammed with people.”
Box office for “The Grinch” is expected to reach
$40 million, putting it in fourth place for the time period. “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is expected to land in third with a gross of $41 million.
Many moviegoers come equipped with a game plan to combat the crowds, Agregado said.
“I see lots of people buy their ticket, go find their seat and then send someone for the popcorn, soda, candy or whatever they’re getting,” he said. “I think that’s the best thing for the people to do if they get here when we are slammed.”
Phoenix Theaters Laughlin Stadium 9 is at 1955 S. Casino Drive, in the Laughlin Outlet Center, and can be contacted at 702-299-4293.
Riverside Cinema Six Plex is inside Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino at 1650 S. Casino Drive in Laughlin and can be contacted at 702-298-2535.