When most people think of the drive-in movie theater, they romance the endangered communal movie experience with thoughts of young love, starry skies, cool breeze and fresh popcorn. As someone who grew up in southern New York and had not one, but several, drive-in theaters to choose from in my formative years, I can safely say all that’s great, but the best thing about drive-ins is the double feature.

At the drive-in, studios regularly pair their latest and greatest offering with something that’s just a little bit older, giving an added incentive for families to come out to the movies. That’s exactly what Disney did the past two weeks with their mega-hit, The Avengers. They paired it with their last film, the disappointing John Carter, and even with the small number of drive-ins remaining in America, the success of the former has led to a minor resurgence for the latter. After the jump, read how teaming up with The Avengers has been great news for John Carter.

The Hollywood Reporter first pointed out this phenomenon while looking at the box office tallies for the past two weeks.

The weekend of April 27, one week before The Avengers stormed on screens, John Carter was #34 at the box office, grossing $112,881 on 180 screens.

The following weekend, May 4, when The Avengers made a staggering, record breaking $207,438,708, John Carter jumped from #34 to #12, grossing $1,494,367 on 349 screens, a whopping increase of 1223.8%.

Then this past weekend when The Avengers grossed another record, $103,052,274, John Carter stayed relatively strong at #15, grossing $766,217 on 230 screens. The majority of drop off was likely the screens playing the film in second run.

According to the post, Carter is playing on around 150 drive-in screens with The Avengers at an average cost of $8 per ticket. Though no one is sure exactly how that ticket is split, The Avengers likely gets the bulk of it. Still, a small percentage of the huge amount of tickets The Avengers is selling is helping Barsoom gain a little bit more coin.

As of now, John Carter has grossed almost $72 million domestically, which would be considered a hit for most films. Unfortunately, with a reported budget around $250 million and a marketing budget in the neighborhood too, even rolling in its $200 million plus internationally doesn’t help.

Do you get out to the drive-in often? Do you stay for the double feature? How important is the double feature to the drive-in?

Additional sources: Box Office Mojo, Warwick Drive-In

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