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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Why do studios still advertise Friday release dates?

   
Author Topic: Why do studios still advertise Friday release dates?
Justin Hamaker
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From: Lakeport, CA USA
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 - posted 07-15-2019 04:09 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is something that is starting to irritate me since Thursday night openings have basically become the standard for most movies. I think advertising the movie as opening Friday winds up hurting the gross potential of Thursday night. I know some consumers actually think the Thursday night shows are something less than the full movie since it's before the opening day.

I'm curious if anyone is aware of any logic behind not advertising the movie as opening Thursday Evening?

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Frank Cox
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 - posted 07-15-2019 04:17 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Marketing, I guess.

It's a "preview screening" so you're more special if you get to see it a day early.

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Mike Blakesley
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From: Forsyth, Montana
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 - posted 07-15-2019 05:46 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Unless it's a major blockbuster movie, we don't bother with the Thursday openings. All they do is confuse people and/or irritate people who don't hear about them until Friday and are pissed that they missed it.

I suppose the next time we do one will be Star Wars IX.

I'm just glad the whole "12:01 AM" thing has gone by the wayside.

To answer the original question: The reason for the Thursday opening is to inflate the opening day's numbers. The studios start guessing their opening weekend gross on Saturday based on Friday's numbers, and Thursday is added to Friday. So having an inflated number allows them to inflate the whole weekend.

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James Wyrembelski
Expert Film Handler

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From: Beaverton, MI, USA
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 - posted 07-15-2019 05:59 PM      Profile for James Wyrembelski   Email James Wyrembelski   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I tried doing these but I noticed three things.

The turn out isn't usually anything spectacular.

It confuses people. Everyone knows new stuff is always on a Friday so we usually had a few that were expecting the previous film and then left disappointed they missed it.

I usually see a slight pop in attendance on the very last day before we change over...all the last minute people.

I had tried a couple times splitting the screen...having the old film up and then starting a new film at a later time for the early release. My record was about 60 and that was for Endgame. The other times I had a grand 3-5 show up. So I cut that out pretty fast.

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Mike Blakesley
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 - posted 07-15-2019 06:08 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: James Wyrembelski
we usually had a few that were expecting the previous film and then left disappointed they missed it.
Yep that's happened here, too.

In a way I'm surprised that the studios haven't tried to FORCE everyone to do the early opening.

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Justin Hamaker
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From: Lakeport, CA USA
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 - posted 07-15-2019 07:19 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: James Wyrembelski
The turn out isn't usually anything spectacular.
Unless it's something like a Marvel movie the Thursday night attendance isn't anything special. However, I usually run them when allowed since we are already open and usually have one screen that is dead. In most cases the opener will do more business than the movie I don't show, even if it only has 15-20 people.

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William Kucharski
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From: Louisville, Colorado, United States of America
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 - posted 07-16-2019 06:15 PM      Profile for William Kucharski   Email William Kucharski   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Blakesley
I'm just glad the whole "12:01 AM" thing has gone by the wayside.

I'm not.

When midnight previews were the norm in the early 2010's, I went to go see a new release movie literally every Friday morning at midnight.

Since the preview showings have been moved back to early evening on Thursday I rarely go because I can't make the earlier time.

I've also drastically reduced the number of films I see simply because there's no longer a convenient time for me the way the midnight showings were.

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James Westbrook
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From: Lubbock, Texas, Usa
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 - posted 07-16-2019 09:10 PM      Profile for James Westbrook   Email James Westbrook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was told the reason the showings got moved up earlier on Thursdays was due to the mass shooting in Aurora Colorado in 2012 caused some locations to cease running any midnights, even on the big tent pole movies. "Would you run pre-showings if they were scheduled earlier on Thursday?" Well...okay. Now almost all new titles get the "pre-show" treatment.
I read that movies used to open on Wednesdays until the mid 70s because Wednesday openings allowed film critics to get their reviews to press before the weekend. The film companies moved them to Fridays to lessen the impact of negative reviews on opening weekend. Never mind that studios screened movies for film critics before release anyway...

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Jack Ondracek
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 - posted 07-16-2019 09:17 PM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
With a few notable exceptions, I don't usually get excited about early shows.

When Thursday shows "opened" at midnight, there was something special or unusual about seeing it, even if it was mostly a marketing thing.

Now, it feels more like a way for the studios to boost Friday numbers, since those shows aren't really opening on Thursday.

We're fairly selective about whether to do one of these "sneaks". In our case, it's not often worth the effort to change the server, the boxoffice signage, the web site, the phone, the Facebook page and the readerboard twice in one week, just to get a single show in a day early.

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James Wyrembelski
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From: Beaverton, MI, USA
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quote: Mike Blakesley
In a way I'm surprised that the studios haven't tried to FORCE everyone to do the early opening.
That's been on my mind too!

The only thing I've ever heard about early release times was basically what others have said...bulking Friday numbers.

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Terry Monohan
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 - posted 07-23-2019 10:17 AM      Profile for Terry Monohan   Email Terry Monohan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When I was a kid in the SF Bay Area most of the big movie circuits like Fox West Coast Theatres or United California Theatres and Blumenfeld opened new 1st run movies on Wednesdays's each week.

Maybe they need to bring this back and skip the pre show Thursday thing. I notice sometimes a new movie will open on a Wed but not many.

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Martin Brooks
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 - posted 07-31-2019 12:24 PM      Profile for Martin Brooks   Author's Homepage   Email Martin Brooks   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: James Westbrook
I was told the reason the showings got moved up earlier on Thursdays was due to the mass shooting in Aurora Colorado in 2012 caused some locations to cease running any midnights, even on the big tent pole movies.
I think that's ridiculous. Midnight had nothing to do with the shootings. Do you think the killer would have not bothered if the movie started at 8pm or 10pm? Correlation is not causation. If the murderer had worn blue jeans, would they ban blue jeans at the theater? Someone who wants to mass kill and has the weaponry is going to mass kill. Most of these depraved idiots are really just going out to commit "suicide by cop" and want to take out a bunch of people with them. Time of day is not relevant.

quote: Terry Monohan
When I was a kid in the SF Bay Area most of the big movie circuits like Fox West Coast Theatres or United California Theatres and Blumenfeld opened new 1st run movies on Wednesdays's each week.
Same in local theaters in NYC in the 50's and 60's. I'm not sure about the first runs. I remember anxiously awaiting the Wednesday newspaper to see what movies had opened (or maybe it was the Tuesday paper showing what was starting the next day.)

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Rick Raskin
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 - posted 07-31-2019 05:43 PM      Profile for Rick Raskin   Email Rick Raskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They moved the openings from Wednesdays to Fridays basically to get at least one good weekend if the critics panned it and movie flopped.

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