Box Office: Revenue Falls to Unprecedented Low of $300K on Wednesday as Theaters Go Dark

AMC Santa Monica March 17 2020

That compares to nearly $11 million on the same day a year ago.

Box office revenue limped to a historic low of $300,000 or less on Wednesday as the vast majority of cinemas in North America closed their doors indefinitely due to the coronavirus crisis.

That compares to $10.7 million in revenue on the same Wednesday a year ago, resulting in a year-over-year decline of 97 percent. Revenue a week ago on the same day was $7.7 million, according to Comscore. Box office analysts say $300,000 is no doubt the lowest number in modern history for a single weekday.

According to best estimates, only 440 or so cinemas in the U.S. remained open on Wednesday out of a total 5,548 cinemas (excluding drive-ins). The rest, including mega-circuits AMC, Regal and Cinemark, were shuttered by the end of Tuesday.

Never before in Hollywood cinema history have theaters closed on such a wholesale basis, leaving the film industry reeling. AMC Theatres — the country's largest circuit — says its more than 630 sites will be dark for at least six to 12 weeks.

Disney and Pixar’s Onward stayed No. 1 on Wednesday with a mere $61,529, compared to $2.2 million on the same day a week ago. A number of Hollywood studios have announced that they will be making their recently released titles available in the home via premium VOD, including The Invisible Man, The Hunt, Bloodshot and I Still Believe.

Many cinemas overseas are also closed, although there are indications that theaters in China may begin reopening after being dark since late January.