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concession sales have dropped... 02 Sep 2003 12:21 #26386

  • patti
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I work the conessions stand at a local independent theatre. For the past couple of weeks, we've shown two art films. Whale Rider and Winged Migration. I've noticed concession sales have dropped quite a bit during the showing of these films. Are people who like to see art films less likely to buy concessions? If so, how do art houses make money? Thanks! Patti
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Re: concession sales have dropped... 02 Sep 2003 14:28 #26387

  • Mike
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Oh yeah! Patti; you answered your own question. Do old foggies oohing to Winged Migration (Or as Large called it : "Crack for Old Ladies!") eat les candy-popcorn-sodas than a 10 year old stuffing his face at Nemo? You bet. How do art houses make up? Higher quality products-some higher prices-lower per cap.

Michael Hurley
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Michael Hurley
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Re: concession sales have dropped... 02 Sep 2003 15:57 #26388

  • Rialto
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Hi Patti,

As the co-owner of an independent arthouse theatre, I can tell you that we operate with a lower per cap than our mainstream competitors. Our percap averages about $1.70 but where it ends up day to day, week to week, depends on the mix of films we are playing on our 5 screens. Basically, it works like this: subtitles don't sell popcorn. Comedies sell popcorn, dramas sell popcorn. Documentaries generally don't, though Winged Migration does better than most especially if it connects to parents who bring their kids! But the little ol ladies only want a small popcorn and water, if that.

So how do we survive? Well the great thing about art films is that the terms are generally more favorable to the exhibitor over the long run than commercial film and if you stick with it, you can make money on long runs. We are in week 12 on Winged Migration and Week 10 of Whale Rider, so our terms are pretty good.

And as Mike pointed out, we vary the concessions mix and sell a lot of gourmet cookies at $2 a pop and offer coffee, tea, etc. We also are the only theatre in our county to offer real butter!

Try to get parents in with their kids to see Winged Migration and Whale Rider. Both are also good for school groups. Both of these films offer marketing opportunities for you to make extra money in the box office and concession stand if you play it right. Good luck!
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Re: concession sales have dropped... 03 Sep 2003 09:34 #26389

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Thanks for your help. I really want to start my own art film house, but I got nervous when I noticed a drop in concession sales at the theatre I'm working at. You both have lifted my spirits and I'm grateful this forum is available.
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Re: concession sales have dropped... 07 Sep 2003 21:34 #26390

  • ttroidl
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Dear god, how could you afford to run Whale Rider that long?

we ran it this week to crouds (ha) of 8 people etc... Friday was our BIG showing with 78...

doubt we will hit $800 for the week!

and basically no concessions sales, maybe $150 for the week...

normally we do $300+ per show!

Tony.
tony.
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Re: concession sales have dropped... 08 Sep 2003 11:13 #26391

  • BECKWITH1
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Remember that this was the worst weekend of the year. It doesn't matter what you were running - you were hurting and thinking that you had the wrong movie. I checked our books for last year it made me feel a lot better about this year. I think that we probably did better by keeping the old standbys than by going for something new but it sure was tough looking at the totals for the weekend.
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Re: concession sales have dropped... 09 Sep 2003 01:12 #26392

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Okay, now that everyone has said it was a terrible weekend I will bare my soul and let you know that Friday night was our first home football game. Football should be outlawed, as should basketball, volleyball, teen dances, old folks dances, crab & spaghetti feeds, casino's, bowling alleys, drag racing, bars, and everything else that conflicts with fine movie entertainment!!!!! I had a grand total of 16 patrons on Friday night for my opening night of S.W.A.T. !!!!!!!!! Fortunately business picked up Saturday and Sunday.
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Re: concession sales have dropped... 09 Sep 2003 04:29 #26393

  • outaframe
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HEY BURNEY, don't feel bad, it can get worse!... It's those slack ones that make you appreciate the good ones... There is always something going on which can (and sometimes does) kill off your biz... But IF the picture has any appeal, they will be there while it's still playing... If not, they really weren't interested to begin with... This is a business of feast or famine, and you can't always predict what's going to happen... I've had a night, or two of no one showing up, then had a sell-out later the same week... It scares you when it happens, but it's the averages over the long pull that you have to depend on... If this was easy, everyone would be doing it: hang in there, it'll average out in the end...

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Re: concession sales have dropped... 09 Sep 2003 12:08 #26394

  • BECKWITH1
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OK Burney I will make you feel better. Last night was Monday night. We didn't have a home football game or anything else going on. We offered 5 films. No one showed up for any of them. Depressing. Our choices are old and only work on the weekends but they can pull in marvelously when it rains (like Labor Day last week). I am praying for a rainy fall.
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Re: concession sales have dropped... 10 Sep 2003 01:30 #26395

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I feel so much better now. Dang, Beckwith, that's the sh__ts! Your choice of movies looks pretty good to me. Yes, rain is a good thing here, too; especially in the summer with all the campers.
I will be going to my winter schedule soon and will be closed Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I'm looking forward to some time off before THE CAT AND THE HAT and LORD OF THE RINGS come out.
Do you guys think THE CAT AND THE HAT will draw them in as first run?
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Re: concession sales have dropped... 10 Sep 2003 01:35 #26396

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Getting back to the original topic: Patti,
I'm going to be getting WHALE RIDER in a couple weeks. I'll let you know how my concessions do with it. I'm fearing what my admissions will do, though.
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Re: concession sales have dropped... 10 Sep 2003 10:07 #26397

  • patti
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I'm looking forward to hearing the results. Thanks for all your help.
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Re: concession sales have dropped... 10 Sep 2003 12:29 #26398

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Yes, Cat in the Hat looks good although several of us think that the cat mask looks a lot like the monkey mask from Jumanji. We have been running the trailer and getting comments about it. However, we are also running trailers for Haunted Mansion and Cheaper By the Dozen and all are getting good comments from families.
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Re: concession sales have dropped... 10 Sep 2003 13:43 #26399

  • ttroidl
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Haunted mansion looks good, but why oh why do they never bring out a spooky movie for haloween????

I'm trying to find something to book for it, cause the town is closeing the street for a big dance/party but I see noting till thanksgiving???

tony.
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Re: concession sales have dropped... 10 Sep 2003 13:45 #26400

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BTW, not to make anyone feel bad, but the other theatre I work at ran Seabiscuit the same week and has done over $5000 with it!

weird...

basically no concessions with it though.
tony.
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