See most popular Movie and how much money spent downtown

By Matt Vande Bunte | mvandebu@mlive.co

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Based on estimates drawn from paper surveys distributed at the events, people who attended the summer series of Movies in the Park spent $439,172 on shopping, dining, entertainment and transportation while they were downtown. That’s about $23 per person.

The Downtown Development Authority board reviewed survey data Wednesday, Sept. 10. Here are more numbers from the report:

• The Aug. 22 double feature of “The Sandlot” and “Jurassic Park” attracted an estimated 5,300 people, the largest crowd of the summer. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” ranked second with 4,500 people, and “Top Gun” was third with 4,000 people. “Rocky Horror Picture Show” drew 3,000 people, while “Dreamgirls” (1,200 people) and “Grease” (1,000 people) were the least popular movies.

• Though the screening of “Grease” attracted the smallest crowd, people who attended that June 20 show spent $28.11 on downtown shopping, entertainment, dining and transportation. That was more than people who attended the other movies said they would spend downtown: “Sandlot/Jurassic Park,” $27.77; “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” $22.91; “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” $21.28; “Top Gun,” $19.03; “Dreamgirls,” $17.40.

• Based on attendance and consumer spending estimates, people who attended the “Sandlot/Jurassic Park” double feature spent a combined $147,165 on downtown shopping, dining, entertainment and transportation. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” also generated upwards of $100,000 in spending, while “Grease” and “Dreamgirls” generated less than $30,000 in spending.

“The action stuff was able to leverage higher attendance and, therefore, higher spending,” said Kris Larson, DDA director.

• The July 11 “Dreamgirls” screening had the most racially diverse crowd, with 23 percent non-white attendees. The crowds at “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Grease” and “Rocky Horror Picture Show” were about 90 percent white, while crowds at “Top Gun” and the “Sandlot/Jurassic Park” double feature were about 85 percent white.

• While the crowds for each movie had more women than men, the “Dreamgirls” crowd was nearly 70 percent female. The share of women in the crowd at the other movies: “Rocky Horror Picture Show”, 60 percent; “Top Gun,” 57 percent; “Grease,” 54 percent; “Sandlot/Jurassic Park,” 54 percent; “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” 53 percent.

• Two-thirds of the attendees were age 34 or under, while 4 percent were age 55 or over. “We’re not doing so great with the senior citizens attending this event,” Larson said.

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• About half of movie attendees came from Grand Rapids zip codes, and another quarter of attendees came from zip codes in the surrounding suburbs within 10 miles of Grand Rapids. An estimated 22 percent of attendees came from more than 30 miles away, while very few people came from between 10 and 30 miles.

• Three percent of attendees took public transportation to the movie they attended, while 76 percent came in an automobile. Twenty-one percent of attendees walked or biked to the event.

Matt Vande Bunte covers government for MLive/Grand Rapids Press. Email him at mvandebu@mlive.com or follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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