by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
Spielberg Classics and Dance Musicals Continue a "Retro" Family Friendly Alternate Summer Cinema Slate

West Virginia moves into the second week of cinema rebirth following three months locked and chained in Davy Jones locker. Capacity and seating "rules" have altered, but you can actually view the next month as a "testing" period --- the films played right up to the end of March closing and/or have had two day a week "flashback" screenings. Considering the seriousness of the virus, tip-toeing back into the potential for a "tentpole" blockbuster appears prudent. 

The state had a surprise upsurge not from bars, restaurants or cinemas, but from religious services. One of the first rapid spreads occurred from a choir rehearsal in the NW. Scientists now believe that the deep breathing and release of spit spread the virus. Drive in churches have not had a similar issue.

Unlike houses of worship , moviegoers are passive guests. They enter, grab some tummy goodies, and relax in a couple of seats. If they follow rules, they will not open their mouths courtesy of "phone" messaging prohibitions. Adding distancing allows a group cinema experience , though, jammed auditoriums are forbidden. 

Marquee multiplexes have their Friday screenfare choices ready early. No second week for "Grease" or "I Still Believe," but some cinemas will add a second week to travel once more down the yellowbrick road.

"Trolls World Tour" will debut despite its earlier Premium Video on Demand debut at the epidemic's beginning. Despite popularity at home, drive in's which were not under as tight of restrictions (distancing and stay in your car) have found success putting "Trolls" on the big screen. Also, "Bloodshot" returns from its epidemic interruption. 

Retros offer the first Indiana Jones film, the roller coaster air time "Raiders of the Lost Ark," you can run from dinosaurs in high heels as "Jurassic Park" returns, there's time for another "Dirty Dancing" spin, and Harry Potters re-enters "The Chamber of Secrets."

Spielberg Classics and Dance Musicals Continue a "Retro" Family Friendly Alternate Summer Cinema Slate

Normally, Box Office Mojo and Boxoffice or Variety track "first runs," but industry communication has wavered. Sources have reported flip flopped results for the same films in the same area.  Deadline has a "Top Ten*" acknowledging it relies on not heeavily vetted sources.

  1. Trolls World Tour (Uni) 197 (+21) theaters 3-day: $302K (-11), cume: $3.06M/Wk 9
  2. The Invisible Man (Uni//Blumhouse) 121 (+19) theaters, 3-day: $279K (-13%), cume $67.1M/Wk 15
  3. Becky (Quiver) 45 theaters, 3-day: $205,8K/wk 1
  4. Sonic (Par), 107 (+18) theaters, 3-day: $200K (+17%), cume $148.1M/Wk 16
  5. The Wretched (IFC), 99 theaters (+24), 3-day: $196,8K (+12%), cume: $1.1M/Wk 6
  6. The Hunt (Uni) 64 theaters, 3-day: $189K (-13%), cume: $7.7M/Wk 13
  7. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony), 68 theaters (+12), 3-day: $169K (-10%), cume: $322.8M/Wk 26
  8. The Goonies (WB) 66 theaters (-) 3-day: $111K, lifetime cume: $62.5M
  9. Bad Boys for Life (Sony)39 theaters (-13), 3-day: $96K (-24%), cume: $207.5M/Wk 21
  10. Onward (Dis) 33 theaters, 3-day: $92K (-10%), cume: $61.8M/Wk 14
    Broken Hearts Gallery added to theatrical release slate
    Broken Hearts Gallery added to theatrical release slate

IFC which normally caters to "art" and "niche" markets , not wide releases have made some of their new inventory available which provides some "new" flicks on the marquee, especially noted, they have released three horror films which have ranked in the drive in/single screen/ independent listing of open theaters as the major chains decided to stay shut until Hollywood cranks up "new" productions. 

Of about 5,500 screens, deadline reports results that about 700 screens are operating and 43% are outdoor ones.

Spielberg Classics and Dance Musicals Continue a "Retro" Family Friendly Alternate Summer Cinema Slate

Analyzing this Top Ten*, despite the Premium VOD release of Trolls, it's still on top at the film venues that are open. The total is paltry but the outdoor venues did not get to play it "day and date" to "streaming" as this was the height of the epidemic. But a #1 that brought in about $300,000, not three hundred million is not a total that would have vaulted it into the top ten. Depending on the week, the #10 movie will generally make at least one million dollars from 500 to 1,000 screens. 

Spielberg's classic Goonies came in eighth. Bluehouse's Invisible Man grabbed runner up and the horror films "Becky" and "Wretched" finished third and fifth. 

The report has  Universal, WB, Sony, Disney, Paramount  and IFC reporting. Box Office Mojo has relied on what Deadline believes are unvetted reports which place IFC's "Wretched" as cruising for six weeks as the #1 film. 

Box Office Majo reported March 13-19 Onward, Bloodshot, I Still Believe, The Hunt and Invisible Man in the Top 5 taking in a combined gross of approximately $42 million dollars. Most cinemas shuttered the next week approximately 19 cinemas took in less than $5,500 dollars.