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Can Movie Box Office Return To Pre-Pandemic Levels? Marcus CEO “Not Ready To Throw The Towel In Yet”

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Marcus Corporation CEO Greg Marcus says he’s encouraged by the recent diversity and consistency of theatrical films and is “not ready to throw in the towel yet” on the notion of box office returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Along with one of the top national movie theater circuits, the company also operates a string of hotel properties. Speaking on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call with Wall Street analysts, Marcus noted a run of “nice, fun, short mid-sized films” like A Man Called Otto. “Re-habitualizing the moviegoer” with a diverse range of film offerings will be key to the box office recovery, he said. “You can’t just feed us dinner — we need lunch and we need breakfast, too, to have a rounded nutritional diet.” Doing so will be a painstaking and incremental process, he conceded.

Marcus reported mixed earnings for the quarter, in part due to a downturn in wide-release films compared with 2021, with attendance dropping 24%.

Revenue compared with the prior-year quarter slumped 4% to $162.9 million, with the number of wide releases dipping from 26 to 22 and difficult comparisons with 2021’s Spider Man: No Way Home haul.

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