BREAKING… Power outages now stand at more than 4.6 million homes and businesses, down from a peak of 8.5 million. But Rentrak said roughly 300 movie theaters stretching from Washington DC to Boston remained dark on Tuesday in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. And by Wednesday there’s no word yet on when they’ll reopen. (This Regal Kingstowne Cinemas 16 in Alexandria, VA, was shuttered Monday.) The hardest hit areas are New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut — and it could be days before all theaters there reopen. In terms of losses, domestic box office revenues could take a -25% hit because of the closures. Revenues came in at roughly $6 million Monday, versus $10 million a year ago. (Though some of that -39% decline was due to an overall soft market). But Ben Affleck’s Argo from Warner Bros increased +49% from Monday to Tuesday in NY yesterday. “I suspect things will improve by the weekend in Manhattan,” one studio distribution exec tells me. In NYC, I’m told that going into today AMC still has 20 theatres down, most due to power outages. Regal has 13 still down but others are all up and running. “At one point there were more than 130 theatres closed. Amazingly, Regal’s Battery Park is up and running!,” another distribution exec says. Here’s a look at 4 major DMAs affected by Hurricane Sandy and how they rebounded Tuesday:
NEW YORK CITY - Monday was -96% from Sunday with practically no gross. Tuesday was $500,000.
WASHINGTON DC - Monday was -92% from Sunday with a gross of $25K. Tuesday was $450,000.
PHILADELPHIA - Monday was -95% from Sunday with a gross of $6K. Tuesday was $180,000.
BOSTON – Monday was -93% from Sunday with a gross of $15K. Tuesday was $240,000.