Longer films are shown fewer times
The recent crop of long films is hitting theater owners hard.
Movies like The Hobbit, The Dark Knight Rises, Django Unchained, and Les Misérables all have running times of over 150 minutes. The problem for theaters is they can only run these films once during the prime time between 7PM and 9:30PM, when 80% of their business is done.
Typically theaters will run hot movies five times a day, but movies like The Hobbit can only run four times a day. That means fewer tickets, and fewer people buying popcorn, soda, and candy from the concession stand.
Bob Thompson is a pop-culture professor at Syracuse University and says cable television is to blame for the longer movies. Thompson says cable shows like The Sopranos, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad have risen expectations of audiences who now crave character development large sweeping stories.
Landmark Theaters CEO Ted Mundorff says theaters can lose $3,600 a night by only showing a movie four times instead of five.