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Exactly 45 years after Steven Spielberg ushered in the era of the summer blockbuster with Jaws, the filmmaker has become the T-Rex of the June drive-in marquee.
Over the June 19-21 weekend — as Hollywood studios offered classic catalogue titles to cinemas struggling to emerge from the novel coronavirus crisis — Spielberg’s 1993 film Jurassic Park topped the chart with an estimated $517,642 from 230 locations in its 1,411th weekend, according to those with access to flash Comscore flash grosses.
The vast majority of the theaters reporting grosses were drive-ins, many of which have been able to remain open, and in other instances, reopen relatively quickly. Indoor theaters are expected to be open en masse by mid-July.
Jaws wasn’t far behind Jurassic Park. The pic earned an estimated $516,366 from 187 locations in its 2,349th weekend (it first hit theaters in June 1975). Elsewhere, the filmmaker’s 1982 blockbuster E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial pulled in $126,189 from 100 locations in its 1,985th weekend to place No. 7, while Raiders of the Lost Ark came in No. 18 with $69,047 from 109 sites in its 2,037th weekend.
Comscore’s flash gross sheet shows that overall revenue for the weekend was an estimated $3.8 million. While that’s a minuscule number — the same weekend last year brought in more than $200 million in ticket sales — studios and cinema owners are pleased to see drive-ins relatively full.
Other classic titles currently being offered up include Back to the Future, Footloose and The Goonies.
Most of the country’s 5,400 cinemas have been dark since mid-March, with studios delaying their releases and Comscore ceasing to report grosses. The first new nationwide releases are Unhinged on July 10, followed by The Broken Hearts Gallery on July 17, Mulan on July 24 and Tenet on July 31.
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