The weekend following the 2016 presidential election saw a huge turnout at the domestic box office, with movies like Doctor Strange and Trolls drawing tons of viewers into theaters as they continue to rake in millions of bucks. This made for a great debut weekend for Arrival and Almost Christmas, too.
Why? You can’t scroll through your newsfeed in the dark surrounded by a bunch of people who are also looking forward to stepping away from the world and into a movie for a second, pretty much. Self-care, escapism, call it whatever: This was a week that brought about a lot of massive change, and Doctor Strange and other films saw larger-than-predicted audiences because of it.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke with box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian about this post-election movie blitz, and he pointed out that the number of people who went to the movies over Veterans Day weekend is 80 percent higher than that of last year’s audience on the same weekend.
“Two hours of moviegoing is like a massive, immersive group therapy session,” he told THR. “No matter what side of the aisle you find yourself, going to the movies is a pastime that everyone can agree crosses party lines and conflicting political ideologies ... There is no question that what the world needs now is the great escape that only the movie theater experience can provide.”
Be it Marvel superheroes or aliens or that Justin Timberlake single that will wedge itself into the tender nooks and crannies of your brain for the rest of your life, movies are helping us out right now. Check your listings and head to your local cinema accordingly.