David Bird wrote:
How much went to the chain, rather than the local theatre?
Well the one im at currently ( i help manage an independent IMAX theater,amongst other attractions, in a museum) plays first run Hollywood movies, but we see very little of the money coming from most first-run movies. The only movies i can recall that have made us anything worthwhile were The Dark Knight, and any of the Harry Potter movies. As far as we are concerned the licencing fees and royalties on every single showing, every single day usually far outweigh any profit we see. Since we are independent, we pay to use the IMAX name. We have a 20 year contract to use that name, but after that we are heavily considering dropping the name IMAX and just marketing ourselves how we want. IMAX has crippling limitations on how we advertise anything. Aaanyways, i know most about our indy theater than the others i have worked at.
I used to work for National Amusements chain, and was told repeatedly that we saw less than 25 percent of profits from each movie. It was my understanding that we subtracted operating and personnel out of the budget, and sent most of the money back to corporate, where they more or less sent us money as they saw fit. What we made was irrelevant, as long as they saw our location as strategic, or beneficial in the long run. It seemed to me that we were a wholly corporate entity, and really had no control over money issues in any way shape or form.
The second National Amusements theater i worked for was a very slow and unpopular theater that made almost no money for the company. We didn't get much, and just squeaked by with a small staff and enough resources to maintain the place every month, but the company kept sending us money to keep open. Ultimately, they wanted to use us to test out a new dine-in theater experience, but the city council shot it down so corporate closed us within the month. To me, that shows how financially in control corporate really was.