After having coffee with some of Detroit’s finest we’re off for some devil’s night action. Where to? Packard plant? Brewster projects? Random abandoned building? Casino? We’ll see. Open to suggestions.
Today for the first time in my life I went to see a movie alone. It was kinda nice and it gave me an opportunity to do some thinking. First I wondered how they can justify showing a movie when only four people show up (granted it was Sunday morning and not Friday night). Four tickets @ $4.50 and one large soda @$5.25. That’s only $23.25 which I personally would not even flip the projector switch for.
I’m aware that much of a theater’s profit comes from concession sales so I know that adds up quickly. If only one out of ten people get a drink or a snack then they will break even on their costs for concessions. Judging from what I typically see, many more than 10% purchase refreshments at the movies and many get multiple items. Cha-Ching!
Now let’s look at ticket sales. While they only made $18 on this morning’s showing of Johnny English Reborn, they will make serious bank tonight during Paranormal Activity 3. Let’s say the average theater holds 250 people. If it sells out during a matinee show at $4.50 a seat, that’s $1,125. But wait! Sellouts usually occur during peak times where ticket prices are more than doubled. A nighttime sellout at $10.25 in the larger 350 seat theaters will gross $3,587.50. Nice chunk of change for a 90 minute show. Multiply this number by a few shows per night and you’ve had a good night.
Now I know, many theaters don’t sell out. Let’s say that each of the 21 theaters averages $500 per viewing. With a total of 104 showtimes today that equals $52,000. That’s just under $19 million per year.
Now these numbers are not perfect but that looks pretty good to me. How did the mob never get into this racket? Casinos are great but there’s a lot of capital necessary up front. Why not sit on top of a cinema and rake in the dough while enjoying some buttery popcorn and a fun film?