AUSTIN (KXAN) — Most businesses are closed for Christmas but for one industry, it’s the busiest time of the year.
On average, movie theaters sell between $400 and $600 million in tickets between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, according to analytics company, Comscore.
That’s because many Americans, including Austinites, have made going to the movies a part of their holiday celebrations.
“It’s a tradition in my family,” says Jack Joseph.
“It’s a new tradition,” Sun Connors, mom of two, says.
“A little family tradition,” says Anna Peterson, who’s been going to the movies with her mom on Christmas since they moved to Austin about six years ago.
“We don’t really have any family that stay around here so we just come out; Drafthouse provides food and entertainment,” Peterson says.
It’s why Gabe Kirchner also decided to make today’s Hanukkah gifts a trip to the movies.
“We just thought it’d be a fun way to spend the day today because we’re just kind of on our own,” Kirchner says.
Sun Connor wanted to find more Christmas activities for her family.
“Another experience versus the gifts and the toys, so I’m trying to offer more of those during the day on Christmas,” Connor says.
She first thought of going to the movies last year.
“It was an experiment. I wanted to delay opening gifts,” she says.
This year, that delay included writing notes and baking cookies for neighbors before going to a morning show.
She says the pause provides some calm for mom before the chaos.
“You just sit there and order a mimosa and enjoy,” she laughs.
No matter what your reason for buying a ticket, it all makes this week the biggest of the year for movie theaters: The eight days between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve can rack up as much as five percent of the entire year’s box office receipts, Comscore.
Employees at the Alamo Drafthouse Mueller, on Aldrich Street, say a good weekend outside the holiday season typically yields about 1,200 ticket sales.
They had sold about 1,700 tickets before noon on Christmas day, alone.
Many of their 27 showings were nearly sold out, too.
“We’re going off to a different Drafthouse to go see another movie,” Peterson says.
While she enjoys movie hopping on her day off, she’s thankful for the people who make it possible.
“Thanks for the Drafthouse and everybody who actually stays open on Christmas to give us this entertainment. It’s a big appreciation,” Peterson says.