The superhero movie “Wonder Woman 1984” took in $16.7 million at the North American box office over Christmas weekend, the most for any movie since the COVID-19 pandemic began — and Utah theaters led the way.
The Megaplex at The District in West Jordan was the top-grossing theater in the country for the Patty Jenkins-directed sequel, which placed DC Comics’ Amazon princess (played by Gal Gadot) in the 1980s.
Five of the top 10 theaters in the country were in Utah, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Besides The District Megaplex, the others were:
• Megaplex at Jordan Commons, Sandy, 4th.
• Megaplex at Thanksgiving Point, Lehi, 6th.
• Cinemark 24 Jordan Landing, West Jordan, 7th.
• Megaplex Geneva, Vineyard, 10th.
The Wasatch Front ranked only behind the Dallas area as the metropolitan area with the biggest audiences for the movie, The Hollywood Reporter said. Meanwhile, theaters in many major cities — including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Philadelphia — remain dark, because of strict closure rules.
Another factor in reduced box-office grosses: Warner Bros. debuted “Wonder Woman 1984” on HBO Max on Christmas Day, the same day it opened in 2,150 theaters nationwide.
Megaplex also reported that its Jordan Commons location ranked first in the nation in box-office for another Christmas Day opening, the Western drama “News of the World,” starring Tom Hanks. The Megaplex at Legacy Crossing in Centerville came in tenth with that title.
Megaplex Theaters and Cinemark both are operating under the “Cinema Safe” program, a campaign launched by the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) to encourage protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in theaters.
Megaplex auditoriums are at less than 50% capacity, with three-seat buffers between family groups and every other row blocked off. Cinemark theaters have the same buffers between groups, and in some theaters block off alternate rows; in theaters equipped with luxury seats, the rows are already more than six feet apart.
Both chains require guests to wear masks when they’re not eating popcorn and other concessions, and encourage social distancing in the lobby areas. And both chains, like most theater companies, are offering private watch parties, where family groups can rent out an entire theater. Warner Bros. said theaters nationwide booked some 10,000 private screenings for “Wonder Woman 1984,” The Hollywood Reporter said.
Blake Andersen, president of Megaplex Theaters, said in a statement that “we’re especially grateful to our extraordinary team who worked tirelessly to clean and sanitize every auditorium between each screening to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all of our guests.”