Drive-in cinemas in the US have continued to shift tickets despite the country-wide shuttering of movie theatres due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
There were between 79 and 135 theatres that remained open this past weekend out of approximately 500,000 that have been closed.
Box office numbers showed that of the 30 highest-grossing theatres over the weekend, drive-in cinemas represented 25 of them.
The opened cinemas were based in cities including Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, St. Louis, Miami and Nashville.
The four top earners for the weekend included Disney’s Onward, which brought in $71,000 at 135 locations, down from last weekend’s $10.6m, while The Invisible Man brought in $64,000 at 111 cinemas, a fall from last weekend’s $5.89m.
Bloodshot earned $52,000 this weekend across 79 theatres, down from last weekend’s $9.1m, and the Call of the Wild brought in $46,500 at 86 cinema, a plummet from last weekend’s $2.2m.
Two weekends ago when news first began to break about the coronavirus in the US, the weekend box office remained steady at $100.7m for the period of March 6-8, but that dropped 46% to a two-decade low of $54.7m last weekend as pandemic fears swelled.
Last week, AMC Theatres, North America’s largest cinema chain, ordered the closure of all its venues for up to 12 weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak. AMC, which has roughly 630 locations and 11,000 screens, announced its decision after other closures were made, including Regal Cinemas, which is the second-largest movie chain in the US.
The news follows yesterday’s announcement that around five per cent of China’s total number of cinemas opened their doors again, primarily in remote and costal regions where new cases of the virus have not been reported for more than a month. China has reported slow sales after 500 of the country’s more than 70,000 cinemas reopened following the complete blackout that began in January due to the Covid-19 outbreak.