Starting this weekend, Americans are expected to return to movie theaters in a major way.
“F9,” the latest in the “Fast and the Furious” franchise arrives in theaters around the country and pre-sale tickets indicate it could have the most successful open since the start of the pandemic.
It comes as Cinema Week, a six-day nationwide effort to get Americans back to theaters, is ongoing.
“We wanted to form a rallying point for the industry as they were coming out of a 15-month practical shut down nationwide,” Cinema Week co-creator Brandon Jones said. “This is a real comeback story. Like any great movie, you need an underdog and I think movie theaters are the underdog here.”
“F9” has already made $300 million in ticket sales worldwide and film and theater industry insiders hope that success will carry over to the United States where there is widespread vaccination and loose pandemic restrictions.
“The movie theater industry is a lot of first jobs, a lot of seasonal jobs, but it has employed 153,000 people across the country in a pre-pandemic state,” Jones said. “A lot of the businesses around them rely on the foot traffic that they generate. In a lot of ways – this is an entertainment story, but it is also an economic and recovery story.”
NBCUniversal, the parent company of both NBC 5 and Universal Pictures, is the distributor of “F9.”