At the same theater, a 40-year-old professional from Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, was leaving "The Hobbit" by himself. His wife was at work and his children were in preschool, leaving him, on his day off, with an excess of alone time.

The man, who declined to give his name because he did not want to be "associated with going to movies in the morning" or with having gone to see "The Hobbit," which he described as "two hours and 40 minutes of drivel," said he had chosen the showtime so that he could leave the rest of the day for other activities.