drive-in box office

With movie theaters across the country closed for the foreseeable future due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the weekly box office report is all but a distant memory. But there’s one theater that’s still keeping the weekly box office report alive. A single drive-in theater in Florida was the source of the entire domestic box office this past weekend, showing a whopping two (!) movies to its audience. So if you were missing your weekly box office report, here it is, in extremely barebones form.

The forced temporary shutterings of businesses and movie theaters across has created an unexpected result: the rise of drive-in movie theaters. Once a widely frequented form of moviegoing, the drive-in theater has become an increasing rarity since its heyday in the late 1950s. But now the drive-in theater is seeing a boom in business thanks to the pandemic.

That’s true especially of the Ocala Drive-In in Ocala, Florida: the one source of the domestic box office this past weekend. The weekend box office report on the website The Numbers (via ScreenCrush) showed two new movies playing at one theater in the entire United States last week. The two films, the World War II mime biopic Resistance and the indie psychological thriller Swallow (both from IFC Films) were shown at the Ocala Drive-In in Ocala, Florida, according to journalist Gitesh Pandya, for a grand total box office $33,456.

This doesn’t mean that there’s only one theater open in the entire country — there are still a fair few drive-in theaters (official and makeshift) across the U.S. that are still open — but it seems Ocala is the only one still showing new releases and reporting their grosses. The majority of drive-in theaters show repertory screenings of older or classic films. But perhaps other drive-in theaters could take note of Ocala’s newfound renown — it is making headlines, after all — and start showing new releases so that we could get a fuller box office report. For now, it seems like the No. 1 movie at the U.S. box office is the unnerving Haley Bennett-starring thriller Swallow.

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