I have a distinct memory as a kid reading the newspaper and sometimes seeing ads from local theaters for movies that were, for example, "held over for the 8th week!" (or similar words to that effect). This meant that the movie was so popular that they are still showing it. I recall the run that E.T. had, and watching as the number of weeks it was held over just kept on growing and growing. I remember wondering if it would reach 52 weeks and I'm pretty sure it broke the 40-week plateau in lil' old Panama City. Did this slow down with the rise of home video? Certainly if movie was still making money at the theater then it would make financial sense to keep showing it, but I have no idea what kind of flexibility a theater had to do that. Could they continue to show a movie at their discretion, or did they have specific contracts and schedules with the studio such that they needed to send the movie back at a certain date?