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TOPIC: Second Run Theater Attendance

Second Run Theater Attendance 11 Nov 2009 18:07 #32790

  • sschang009
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Does anyone have any statistics regarding second run theater attendance versus first run theater attendance?
or the difference in ticket sales between the two types of theaters?

i know second run theaters have lower attendance than first run theaters, but are there any real statistics out there?
thanks for replying!
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Re:Second Run Theater Attendance 11 Nov 2009 20:25 #32791

  • revrobor
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What you say you know is not exactly true. It depends on what you call "second run", it's location, ticket prices, concession prices, staff demeanor, presentation and the general "theatre experience" you offer the movie-goer. I ran what you might call a second run theatre about 29 miles from a multiplex. Our admission was .99 cents. I received product about six weeks after the break and after it had played at the multiplex. I sold out most weekends. My concession gross (prices ranging from .25 cents to $3.50) was four times my BO gross.

No one can give you the comparative figures you are asking for.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re:Second Run Theater Attendance 11 Nov 2009 21:41 #32792

  • Keweler
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Bob - the information that you sold out every weekend alone doesn't contradict the idea that a second run earns less money than a first run does.

SSchang- One way to get the kind of information you are looking for, might be to find somebody with access to Rentrak. If they don't have national comparison, then you could at least pick some second run theaters you know and compare them to the first runs in the area.

Good luck,
Jay
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Re:Second Run Theater Attendance 12 Nov 2009 04:12 #32793

  • revrobor
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Jay:

That is just one example of several theatres I have owned and managed. My point is that just because a theatre does not play a film on the break does not necessarily mean it will have a lower attendance than a theatre that does. There are other factors to take into consideration.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re:Second Run Theater Attendance 12 Nov 2009 10:42 #32794

  • rodeojack
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revrobor wrote:
My point is that just because a theatre does not play a film on the break does not necessarily mean it will have a lower attendance than a theatre that does. There are other factors to take into consideration.

That may be true, as far as patron count goes. However, I don't know how you can make up the difference between a 300 seat room that fills at 99 cents, and the same room that fills once at $10. Even with some cheaper kids' tickets and maybe some empty seats mixed in, you're not talking about the same cash flow.

My experience is that discount customers are not notoriously-high concessions patrons either. If you're paying near-market rates for square footage in a strip mall, I'd think this would be a real challenge.

In the case of the quad that I last ran (read: high rent), I would have to consistently bring in somewhere between 800 and 900 people every day, just to break even with a 99 cent admission.

Bob, you might recall the experience your former employers had with the "Holiday Twin" over here. When they went to $1 shows, the place went from empty to stuffed. After the novelty wore off, the crowds dropped. The poor behavior of the remaining patrons diminished the numbers further, until it wasn't worth opening the doors anymore. All of this happened before you could get a DVD from a vending machine for a buck.

I would never get into the discount market these days, given what I've seen around here. To make such a venture work, I'd think you'd need a far more attractive draw than just price.
Last Edit: 12 Nov 2009 10:45 by rodeojack.
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Re:Second Run Theater Attendance 12 Nov 2009 12:23 #32798

  • Keweler
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Bob, I don't doubt that you can make money with a second run. SSchang assumption (the way I understand it) is that a second run will on average(!) make less money than a first run in the same market. Will there be exceptions to this? Of course, but very few. How can I prove that? Well, that's excactly what sschang asked.
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Re:Second Run Theater Attendance 12 Nov 2009 12:30 #32799

  • sschang009
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thanks everyone for your input.
I'm in Orange County, California. there are several of multiplexes within the local area, but not too many second run theaters. would that help or hurt attendance, or does it matter at all?
I'm doing some counts at a local discount theater and comparing that to the national average to get a better understanding of the situation.
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Re:Second Run Theater Attendance 12 Nov 2009 13:35 #32802

  • rufusjack
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I too would not touch a discount theater right now with the impending digital change occurring relatively soon. (Not too mention shortening windows and the studios ultimate wish for multiple delivery points) Since there is nothing that is currently being offered by studios to discount theaters (I know CBG is trying to accomplish this), but until then I would not touch them.

A must would be cheap rent. Many property owners would rather get something than having to spend the $$ to convert a space from a theater or have it sit empty. So, IMHO that throws new construction out the window.

Do you have a place in mind?
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