Wednesday is the new Friday for movie openings

posted by Michael Zoldessy on August 13, 2008 at 7:55 am

I guess I wasn’t the only one that noticed this latest phenomenom that has been puzzling me as of late. For the rest of the month, expect to see major releases rolled out on Wednesday.

Pink is the new black; 50 is the new 40; and, when it comes to summer movies, Wednesday has become the new Friday.

Between now and Labor Day, the major studios and several independent distributors are releasing more than a half-dozen new films on a Wednesday, usually considered one of the slowest days of the week for moviegoing.

Read more at the Mercury News.

Comments (13)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 13, 2008 at 9:48 am

I noticed the increasing number of opening reviews on Wednesday in the LA Times. This has been going on since at least the beginning of the year.

BobT
BobT on August 13, 2008 at 10:06 am

In the late 60’s and early 70’s, “Starts Wednesday” was the norm for a picture. “Star Wars”, “The Godfather”, “The Exorcist”, all opened on Wednesday. The studios finally figured out that when they opened pictures on Wed, the reviews would be out before the weekend and if lousy, people wouldn’t go. Open on Friday and the reviews would not be in the paper until Saturday maybe even Monday and the audience wouldn’t know it was a clunker.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on August 13, 2008 at 3:14 pm

According to Variety weekday attendance is better than usual this summer. I suspect many distributors will falsely report the nine day week as the opening week gross. It may not fool those who track box-office but sounds impressive when some reporter repeats the hype.

I also understand some ancillary rights are sold as a multiple of the opening week gross so maximizing this is more critical than ever.

BradE41
BradE41 on August 13, 2008 at 3:35 pm

I also remember when Wednesday was the standard opening day for films. By the time the late 70’s came around Friday was pretty much the norm.

Opening on Wednesday sometimes benefits a film, but last weekend with “Pineapple Express” it cost the film the #1 position for the weekend. Wednesday was the strongest grossing day of the weekend and the grosses were sigificantly less for the remainder of the week and weekend. Friday probably looks better ‘on the books’ for the studios.

telliott
telliott on August 13, 2008 at 4:17 pm

I remember here in Toronto new movies would open Wednesdays at 20th Century theatres, Thursdays at Odeon theatres and Friday at Famous Players and Loews theatres. It was like that for years and then I think sometime in the late 70s or early 80s everything started opening on Fridays, regardless of which chain it was.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on August 13, 2008 at 9:39 pm

I’m bored to tears about “openings” that grossed so many millions of dollars… who cares except the greedy “flick-grinding” merchants!

It would be more interesting to learn as to HOW MANY PATRONS saw a certain movie on opening weekend. Do they ever include the “comps?”

Something else we have also lost total sight of is that cinemas in various areas of the vast USA have different admission prices; some are extremely high priced while others give it away. And I’ll bet more movie-goers have seen “Gone With The Wind”, “The Sound of Music”, “007” etc., than say “Star Wars”, “Iron Man” or “Batman.”!!!

markp
markp on August 13, 2008 at 10:12 pm

I too remember Wednesday openings when I first became a projectionist 33 years ago. As a kid, I remember in the summer going with my dad and he would run the last show onto the “shipping reels” and into the can they went. 5 minutes after the last show ended, we were done. That was considered a “busy” Tuesday night. Not like today with platters and multiplexes getting multiple prints etc.

markp
markp on August 13, 2008 at 10:13 pm

Just to add to my above post, the only time a film would open on a Friday was around the holidays, otherwise it was Wednesdays.

MPol
MPol on August 13, 2008 at 10:48 pm

I still remember the the thrill of films starting on Friday nights, and I thought it was a real thrill to see a Saturday night or saturday afternoon flick. It could be frustrating, however, when it was too crowded and we couldn’t get into the screening. However, most of the time, I’ll go to movies any day of the week, yet, I still find it a special thrill to go to see a film such as West Side Story on a Friday or Saturday night.

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio on August 14, 2008 at 4:59 am

For me, the good old days were when the RIVOLI or RIALTO would show one double feature on Monday and Tuesday, one on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and one on Saturday and Sunday. And all those glorious posters beckoned your attendence outside the buildings! Nowadays, I expect a major relsease on Wednesday, a Pay-For-View on Friday, HBO on Sunday and the DVD sometime a week later or so.

efriedmann
efriedmann on August 14, 2008 at 11:06 am

The few times I do go to the movies now, I NEVER go during the first week of a new releases' run. I simply cannot handle the crowds of people.

MPol
MPol on August 14, 2008 at 8:12 pm

I see your point, Love movies-hate going. I, too generally avoid going to see a newly-released movie during the first few days of its run. However, if my curiosity really gets the best of me and I can’t wait, I’ll make a point of buying a ticket for myself in advance, as I did with The Dark Knight.

ceasar
ceasar on August 15, 2008 at 7:51 am

Since it’s still summer could this switch from Fridays to Wednesday is an effort to increase box office draw. I notice with some of the blockbusters that they get releaserd earlier than your traditional release dates.

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