Opening weekend

I never understood how the success of a movie during the opening weekend came to be such a key selling point. Surely the second weekend is a much better measure? During the first weekend there is not much in the way of word of mouth: friends have not had time to convince friends that they should shell out a large-ish chunk of their life savings for a movie ticket.
The only thing that the opening weekend measures is the success of the marketing of the film.

I’m not denying that that’s important, given the commercial nature of the film industry, I’m just saying that the opening weekend figures should not be reported to the general public with the prominence that they get now. We don’t all rush out to a particular restaurant because a marketing report noted an increase in patronage following the erection of a billboard. So why should the movie marketers get a free ride?

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