Virtual Box Office Reports to Theaters

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Today I was able to send our first virtual box office reports to the 17 theaters that opened Phoenix, Oregon Theatrical-at-Home.

I love writing checks to theaters. It may be a drop in the bucket for their staff & expenses, but it’s something. I was also able to forward the notes of encouragement customers have left for them.

Here is our total Week 1 box office as reported on Thursday at midnight:

Everything is so unusual at this time of COVID-19, that it’s impossible to compare these numbers with a normal release. Our box office certainly would have been higher, like it was on tour last summer. At the same time, these numbers are great considering we are asking customers to purchase in an unfamiliar way on a brand new platform (it’s not iTunes, Amazon, or Netflix.)

Here is how the numbers broke down by theater (names redacted):

We are sharing 50% of the revenues with theaters after payment processing fees. Some of the reported revenue is not captured in the chart as it goes towards Week 2 theaters.

This release is validating lessons we learned on the summer tour:

  • Theaters are our customers.
  • Theaters are “influencers”.
  • There is 3-pronged synergy and synchronicity between curator, audience, and artist. When it works well, there is generosity, joy, appreciation and community.
  • The theaters who promote the screenings, and have loyal patrons, do best.

As you can see, the top three theaters, along with our general sales, brought in most of the business. Some of the smaller theaters have completely closed and have not been able to promote the film, so it is more difficult to funnel sales their way. I’d love if we could give all of them big checks. We will keep everyone on for two full weeks and then drop some of the lower performing markets as we add new theaters.

Yesterday, I added a signup form on the website to accept new theater requests.

This week, we have 26 theaters increased from 17 in Week 1.

Sales may be lower overall than last week, but the new theaters are performing well, and because of their enthusiastic and supportive audiences, store conversion rates have increased from around 3% to over 6%.

All in all, this is proving to be a fascinating experiment, one that will create ripples well into the future.

♡ Annie


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