NYC Hit Hard As Winter Storm Shuts Down Movie, Broadway Theaters

By Anita Busch, Ross A. Lincoln

UPDATE: AMC confirmed all of its Manhattan theaters are closing due to the snow, but that’s just accepting reality at this point, as New York City is being hit hard by Jonas. A reported 20 inches have already been dumped on the city and the adjusted forecast is now calling for as much as 30 inches. Governor Cuomo has placed a travel ban on public roads set to take effect at 2:30 PM local time that will be enforced by police — emergency vehicles only on the streets. City buses stopped running around noon.

Matinee and evening performances of all Broadway shows were canceled, a move that wasn’t announced until 1 P.M. (matinees start at 2 P.M.), leaving lines of fans hopeful of scoring a ticket to sold-out shows like Hamilton and The Book Of Mormon literally out in the cold. No decision was made regarding Sunday shows, which begin at 3 P.M. Meanwhile, crowds still packed meeting rooms at the New York Hilton, where the first-ever BroadwayCon, modeled on ComicCon, was proceeding apace as fanboys and girls decked out as Elphaba, King George, Princess Jasmine and Genie waited in line for autographs, shelled out cash for show-themed purses and listened to theater industry pros gab about work. (Jeremy Gerard)

Original post:

Movie theaters across the nation — and hence, the box office — are being affected by winter storm Jonas with D.C. completely shut down and closings reported in Knoxville and Charlotte. Sources tell Deadline that they wouldn’t be surprised if Philadelphia theaters started closing down next. AMC and Regal have already notified distributors of closings in what is turning into a major storm covering a third of the eastern United States. Depending on what happens in New York City and Boston tomorrow, the storm could shave off anywhere from 1% to 3% of the total weekend box office.

Blizzard conditions are expected to bring up to two feet of snow in several parts of the mid-Atlantic region as Jonas runs its course, and already 15 to 18 inches of snow are being reported in Kentucky. Along with the storm, city and state officials across the region warn of service interruptions and power outages which doesn’t bode well either for the three opening films this weekend — The Boy, The 5th Wave and Dirty Grandpa or the big holdover Ride Along 2. In D.C., where gusts of up to 60 MPH have been reported, officials have already taken the rare step of shutting down all metro services, the first time its done so in 40 years, and people have been urged to have at least 72 hours of supplies and to expect multi-day outages. But D.C. is not as big of a market as New York and Boston. If transit is shut down tomorrow in New York, it will really hurt receipts.

Across the affected areas, 125,000 people already without power and more are expected as the storm continues. Right now, the three new films are all estimated to earn around $11 million each. It’s too early to tell how the storm may impact the box office battle between Ride Along 2 and The Revenant. Ride Along 2 has done really well in the Southeast, while The Revenant has done better in the western half of the U.S., so that will likely play into the game. We’ll have more information throughout the evening.

It was not expected to be a big box office weekend, anyway, but now with the storm, you can be assured of it.

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