It’s a no-brainer that teens are the biggest fans of the Twilight series’ final chapter that hit the box office this weekend. But another group of fans love the fangs and fur just as much: theater owners, investors and Hollywood. That’s because the film is poised to close out a blockbuster year for the box office, which has sent the stock prices of movie theater operators and studios soaring.
Total ticket sales are rising at a time when the industry has been struggling with increased competition from the Internet and an American public distracted with a surfeit of gadgets like iPads and online digital video streams.”Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 2″ enjoyed an opening weekend domestic box office of $141.3 million. It is the fourth film this year to break the $140 million mark — joining “The Avengers” “Dark Knight Rising” and “The Hunger Games.” It is a remarkable achievement since only four other films had openings as big before this year.
A key reason behind big opening weekends lately is the same digitaltechnology that’s the industry’s biggest competition. Digital projectors have allowed multiplex theater owners to quickly add additional screenings of hot movies when there’s strong ticket demand. In the past, they would have needed an extra film print to add a screen. This year, a majority of theaters around the world adopted digital projectors over traditional film projectors. The ticket sales have jacked up stock prices of Movie Theater operators. Regal Entertainment Group (RGC) is up 28%, Cinemark Holdings (CNK) has soared nearly 40%, while Carmike Cinemas (CKEC) has more than doubled this year. Large screen theater operator IMAX (IMAX) is the relative laggard of the group with only a 20% rise.