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US box office drops 97% year-on-year on Wednesday to reach historic low | Film

With only around 440 cinemas of 5,600 still open across the US, Wednesday’s midweek box office takings hit a historic low with $300,000 recorded.

Most multiplexes, including the AMC, Regal and Cinemark chains, closed earlier this week. It is thought that some drive-ins, whose revenue is not officially recorded, remain open.

The same Wednesday in 2019 recorded almost $11m in ticket sales while last Wednesday’s box office was $7.7 million, according to Comscore. The Hollywood Reporter suggests “analysts say $300,000 is no doubt the lowest number in modern history for a single weekday”.

Around a fifth of Wednesday’s box office take went to Onward, Pixar’s latest animation. Increasing numbers of new releases are either being postponed or released online immediately.

In China, a handful of cinemas have now reopened, and the government has announced a programme of firm favourites to try to attract back audiences at the end of the month.

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