Over-performing’s been the name of the game for months and GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE is the latest happy example.
It’s a flawed system of projecting grosses that generates many of the better-than-expected results we’re seeing — like “Afterlife” from Sony/BRON/Montecito’s (pictured) with $44M rather than the anticipated $30M. In assessing how films may open, Hollywood handicappers consider various factors, including advance ticket sales for previews & opening weekends. If they’re not robust numbers, they scale back estimates.
Advance sales were a valid barometer for opening grosses in the past, but in the late pandemic era, people don’t plan ahead as they once did. Moviegoing’s more spontaneous now and audiences can buy specific seat tickets online whenever they like.
Moviegoing’s more of a last-minute decision now when people decide they’ve just got to get out of the house and want to reconnect with friends. Media pundits should keep this in mind while projecting openings. Movie marketers should target more of their media budgets to opening weekend online, social media & digital out-of-home buys that can influence last-minute ticket purchases.