By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Hopeful movie-goers had to be turned away all three nights last weekend as the popular “Monsters University” came to The Imperial Theatre.
The city-owned, volunteer-run theatre sold out all three nights, and “a lot of people were turned away,” said City Clerk/Administrator Jo Leyland.
It’s been that way all over the country since “Monsters University” was released three weeks ago. So far, the animated G-rated movie has tallied a cumulative gross of $216.3 million.
Last week, when “Monsters University” ran in Imperial, it was the No. 1 film in the country. This week, it’s dropped off a bit to No. 4.
“Despicable Me 2” took over the No. 1 spot this week, grossing $143.1 million after being released last week.
“Despicable Me 2,” another popular animated film rated PG-13, will be showing at The Imperial Theatre July 19-21.
Leyland said, traditionally, the G and PG-rated films do very well here, and “are always great sellers.”
Since so many had to be turned away last weekend, Leyland said several asked whether matinees could have been scheduled.
However, she said there are several reasons it’s usually hard to do that.
First is getting volunteers. It is a challenge on a regular basis to get volunteers to fill the evening shows, and harder when asking people to volunteer in the middle of the day for a matinee.
And, historically, when matinees were scheduled in the past for highly-anticipated popular shows, the attendance wasn’t that good, she said. She doesn’t recall more than 30 attending past matinees.
Holding a fourth evening show on Monday was suggested when there have been overflow crowds like last weekend, Leyland noted. That also poses a problem too in getting the word out.
The city is not limited to the number of times it can show a film that has been booked for the weekend, she said.
From national movie rankings, the two other movies at The Imperial Theatre this month also appear to be very popular.
This weekend’s “World War Z” was the No. 3 movie last weekend, and is at No. 5 this week.
“The Lone Ranger” scheduled July 26-28 here was No. 2 this week.
Both films are rated PG-13.