Movieland: one-hit wonder or solid long-term business?

movielandfrontofbuildingThe developers of Movieland may be on to something.

The theater opened on Friday to what looked like a huge crowd. When I drove by Friday at 6:45 p.m., the parking lot was packed.  (To see a video tour of the inside, click here )

That’s encouraging, but not surprising. Movieland spent heavily on advertising, with ads online (including RBS) on the sides of trucks driving around town and in every printed media outlet I saw.

But movie theaters nationwide seem to be showing a counter-recessionary trend – that is consumers are spending more on movies than last year. And that means Movieland’s New York developers might have struck at the perfect time.

According to a story in the NY Times , ticket sales were up 17.5% in 2009 compared to 2008.
And according to the story, movie-goers prefer light topics, like romantic comedies, to darker films. “Over the last year or two, studios have released movies that are happier, scarier or just less depressing than what came before. After poor results for a spate of serious dramas built around the Middle East (“The Kingdom,” “Lions for Lambs,” “Rendition”), Hollywood got back to comedies like “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” a review-proof lark about an overstuffed security guard.

“A bunch of movies have come along that don’t make you think too much,” said Marc Abraham, a producer whose next film is a remake of “The Thing.”

movielandfrontofbuildingThe developers of Movieland may be on to something.

The theater opened on Friday to what looked like a huge crowd. When I drove by Friday at 6:45 p.m., the parking lot was packed.  (To see a video tour of the inside, click here )

That’s encouraging, but not surprising. Movieland spent heavily on advertising, with ads online (including RBS) on the sides of trucks driving around town and in every printed media outlet I saw.

But movie theaters nationwide seem to be showing a counter-recessionary trend – that is consumers are spending more on movies than last year. And that means Movieland’s New York developers might have struck at the perfect time.

According to a story in the NY Times , ticket sales were up 17.5% in 2009 compared to 2008.
And according to the story, movie-goers prefer light topics, like romantic comedies, to darker films. “Over the last year or two, studios have released movies that are happier, scarier or just less depressing than what came before. After poor results for a spate of serious dramas built around the Middle East (“The Kingdom,” “Lions for Lambs,” “Rendition”), Hollywood got back to comedies like “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” a review-proof lark about an overstuffed security guard.

“A bunch of movies have come along that don’t make you think too much,” said Marc Abraham, a producer whose next film is a remake of “The Thing.”

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