Utah has garnered the reputation as the happiest, the fittest and healthiest state in three separate surveys in the recent past. It has also become the leader in another category - Moviegoing.
This has been true especially in most major movie premieres. Just last weekend The Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 enjoyed its highest box office sales in the Beehive state.
As reported in one local paper:
Warner Brothers Distribution says three theater complexes in Utah led the nation in the box office for overnight screenings of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which opened at midnight across the country.
According to Warner Brothers, Megaplex Theatres at Jordan Commons in Sandy, The District in South Jordan, and The Gateway in Salt Lake City were the #1, #2, and #3 theatres for opening night box office of the last installment in the Harry Potter film.... The three Megaplex locations took in $158,000, $121,488, $110,933, respectively overnight.
Wow!...that's a lot of money for each single theater - in one night! So are Utahns obsessive moviegoers or is that a reflection of some of their idiosyncracies? Could it be the LDS culture? I think so. Mormons, to outsiders, are viewed as different and peculiar and are therefore reputed as socially atypical mainly due to their teetotal and abstemious lifestyle. In jest, mostly, Mormon fun and partying are associated with jello, orange juice and milk. (In defense of "Mormon fun", however, does fun really have to include alcohol and drug-induced euphoria?)
Moviegoing is a big part of Mormon fun, hence many Utahns love the movies and other fun activities that don't involve being doped and inebriated.
Ms. Rowling and Hollywood should keep sending their non R-rated movies to the state and those Utahns will go see them. Between a bar and a movie theater, the Utahns have an easy choice. It reminds me of one bumper sticker I saw in California that read: "Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you may be in Utah." Yes, because in Utah, they eat jello, drink orange juice and milk (with chocolate chip cookies ...yumm!) and then go ................................... TO THE MOVIES!!