(NPR) — Hollywood reported its lowest box office figures in decades on Wednesday. Ticket sales are down 97% compared to this time last year, with just 440 of the nation's more than 5,500 theaters still open.
With just 440 of the nation's more than 5,500 theaters (which account for some 40,000 screens) open for business, North American cinemas took in less than $300,000 for all the movies currently in theaters, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
That's down 97% from the comparable date (the third Wednesday in March) last year, and is the lowest daily total in modern film history.
If there was a bright spot (and it's not very bright), it was provided by drive-in theaters. Because audiences view movies from their cars, it's still possible to watch a film with a crowd andpractice social distancing. A few drive-ins, notably in California and Texas, made as much as $1,000 for the night. That's maybe enough to make payroll.
But there aren't many drive-ins left — about 300 nationally — and ones in northern states are still closed at this time of year.