When the time for a movie release rolls around, one might notice that there are actually several movies being released around the same date. This usually creates a lot of confusion and competition, especially if one person wants to see a particular movie but their friends or family insist upon another one. Even if certain movies aren’t released on exactly the same day, it does seem like they all come out at once, with a week’s gap at the most. A question naturally arises: why would movie producers release their works around the same day and risk having smaller audiences due to the increased competition?
The answer to this is pretty simple. Ticket sales on weekdays are second to none compared to anything from Friday to Sunday. It’s way more profitable to have a movie be released on Thursdays or Fridays so that they can make the most money with the initial hype. It’s just ideal, and opening weekends are the biggest way a movie’s success is gauged. After all, most people have two days off starting from Friday, so it makes sense for them to flock to the cinemas and buy a ticket for the latest movies. Friends would make large groups, couples would go on movie dates, or a few people would even go alone just to unwind from the stress of the work week. Plus, families would take their children to see the most recent releases as they don’t have to worry about it being a school night.
As for why there seem to be a lot of releases on specific days without the movies being spread out; this is probably because specific times of the year are big hotspots for ticket sales. For example, the movie IT was the highest selling movie in any September ever. This is majorly due to the fact that not many big producers would have their movies be released in September. The most popular times of the year are most of the summer and anytime near Christmas.
Again, this is linked to the fact that the masses usually have more time during these phases of the year. Christmas break is more or less a given throughout the United States (bar certain occupations), and summers are a time when kids and teenagers are free from the shackles of schooling. They hence have more time to spend on watching movies. If the weather is extremely hot, many people would also choose to spend their nights out in an air-conditioned movie theatre than anywhere else. Parents would also like to take their children on a safe and relaxing excursion on the weekends.
However, we still have to look at the fact that many movies are released on the same weekend. It could be that certain weekends are picked over others because companies have other movies coming out after that and don’t want to force moviegoers to pick between their own movies. The competition will always be there, but no company or business wants their products to compete with each other. A staggered release date for one particular producer would alleviate movie cannibalism, which is when one movie eclipses another from the same producer.
Another theory for movies being released on the same day might have something to do with religion and culture. Apart from Friday being the beginning of the weekend in most countries, it’s also an auspicious day for Muslims and Hindus. These two groups are major influences in the Bollywood industry, which is even larger than Hollywood itself. Since Friday is considered a blessed day for many people in the industry, it’s also considered beneficial to release new movies on this day.