GOLETA, Calif .– Many moviegoers flocked to Camino Real Cinemas on Thursday to watch some major Hollywood blockbusters.
Aidan Dunn watched Black Window with two family friends.
“It’s so good to be in the dark room with the big screen right in front of you,” he said. “It’s so good to finally be back.”
Brandon Whited enjoyed Fast & Furious 9 with his dad.
“The sound, the whole experience is so different in the theater,” he said. “Especially for action movies, we prefer to come here.”
This weekend marked a milestone, as Black Widow grossed $ 80 million in North America, the biggest opening weekend since December 2019.
While the road to recovery looks a bit more promising, there is still a long way to go before the pandemic.
“We have seen an increase in attendance, but not to the level we had in 2019,” said Metropolitan Theaters director Sal Garcia.
For five of its Santa Barbara-based cinemas, Metropolitan Theaters activity is down 70% compared to the same period in 2019.
“I think people are scared,” Dunn said. “They don’t want to come back and watch movies with other people.”
Yet the biggest challenge is not concerns related to COVID-19.
Rather, it competes with streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, and Disney Plus.
“Nationally, you make $ 80 million for Black Widow in theaters and then you make $ 60 million for Disney Plus,” Garcia said. “A lot of this could have contributed to the theatrical experience.”
COVID-19 has also caused a disruption in Hollywood, causing a delay in the release of big budget films.
“It’s definitely a fight, a lot of great movies don’t come out,” Garcia concluded. “It certainly has an impact on our theaters. “
Other major blockbusters are coming out soon and Metropolitan Theaters is hoping that will bring back moviegoers in the months to come.
To book a movie ticket to the Metropolitan Theaters, you can click here.
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