New York City’s 45 movie theaters make up 40% of the metro box office — and only one of them is open

A view of the Regal Loews Cinemas movie theater in Times Square in New York City.

Noam Galai | Getty Images

Eight months in the past movie theaters have been compelled to shut on account of the coronavirus pandemic. Now that the quantity of instances is rising as soon as once more, theaters in New York, a significant cinema hub, may stay closed for even longer, and some might by no means reopen in any respect.

New information supplied to CNBC by Comscore on Thursday illustrates how essential the space is to the movie business.

There are practically 300 cinemas in New York state, however the key geographic metric that analysts are targeted on is New York’s designated market space, or DMA. This is an space surrounding New York City that features half of Connecticut and New Jersey and excludes cinemas north of Albany and west of Cooperstown. Within this DMA are 234 cinemas that signify 7.4% of the complete home box office, in line with Comscore.

That is the second-highest driver of ticket gross sales in the U.S., simply behind the Los Angeles DMA, which accounts for 8.9%.

“The state of New York is an important market for the exhibition industry, not only in the United States but also around the world,” the National Association of Theatre Owners wrote in a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this month, forward of his choice to permit cinemas outdoors New York City to open with restricted capability.

The designated market space of New York.


Perhaps what is most essential is that this area contains the 45 places in New York City, which signify practically 40% of the DMS’ complete ticket gross sales, in line with the Comscore information. Currently, only one theater is open in New York City, a drive-in location that is exempt from coronavirus restrictions on indoor theaters.

That drive-in accounted for six% of New York’s ticket gross sales over the most up-to-date weekend, Comscore information confirmed, and it should seemingly shut quickly as the climate turns colder.

Average every day Covid-19 instances in the U.S. set one other all-time excessive on Wednesday, marking the fourth consecutive day the nation topped its prior day file. The seven-day common of every day new U.S. instances was 74,183, a 24% rise from per week in the past, in line with a CNBC evaluation of information from Johns Hopkins University.

“As the pandemic continues, movie theaters are quite literally at the mercy of state and local protocols that in many cases prohibit them from opening at all, let alone with reduced capacity,” stated Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

While the entire state of New York accounts for only 6% of complete ticket gross sales domestically, it is an enormous advertising and marketing hub for movies. Movies that carry out effectively in the metropolis generate buzz that helps promote tickets in different components of the nation.

“The temporarily sidelined 5 boroughs … are a powerhouse when it comes to the generation of box office revenue, boasting a large number of enthusiastic movie fans who are always on the lookout for new and notable movies in theaters,” Dergarabedian stated.

This is why studios advised cinema homeowners earlier this month that they’d not launch main blockbusters if New York cinemas weren’t allowed to reopen.

“With New York’s theaters shuttered for nearly seven months and no indication of when they will be allowed to reopen, the studios that supply new movies have been reluctant to release their latest films to the point where almost no new major films will be released globally until 2021 and beyond,” NATO wrote earlier this month.

“Without new movies to play in our cinemas, many members of the global exhibition community will be forced to close their doors again,” NATO stated. “Many of these companies will not survive.”

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