Pre-Christmas Box Office: Severe Winter Weather Shutters Cinemas & Takes Toll On Ticket Sales With Most New Pics Off; ‘Avatar 2’ Eyes $83M 4-Day

FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Close to eighty cinemas have shuttered today as Winter Storm Elliott tears up the Midwest, 1.3M lose power, and many cities such as Atlanta, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Tallahassee set to see record cold Christmas Eve temperatures per the National Weather Service.

Multiplexes in such cities as Cleveland (16 turning off the lights), Indianapolis (14), Buffalo (13), Cincinnati (11) and Portland, OR (10) have shuttered due to brutal weather.

All of this is currently resulting in lower-than-expected weekend projections, which will hopefully correct by Christmas Day Sunday. Already, business will be down around a daily average of -50% on Christmas Eve Saturday as is typical for that day’s business.

Third place among regular ranked titles Thursday went to Disney/Marvel Studio’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever at 3,200 sites with $906K, +1% from Wednesday and a running total at end of week 6 of $422.6M.

Fourth is Universal’s Violent Night at 3,528 theaters with $792K, -4% from Wednesday, and running domestic total of $38.4M at end of week 3. The genre action title is 137% ahead of Universal’s Black Christmas which finaled at $16.2M and $200K ahead of the studio’s 2015 holiday horror comedy Krampus at the same point in time which ultimately ended its domestic box office at $42.7M.

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