Are we falling out of love with the cinema?

People in Minions costumes at the Despicable Me 3 premiere in Los AngelesImage copyright

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Despicable Me 3 was one of the few hits of the summer

If you felt like there was nothing on at the cinema over the summer, you were not alone.

Summer takings at the US box office were at their lowest level for more than two decades, with only films aimed at youngsters genuinely doing any impact.

What has been behind the slump?

Analysts forecasted a fall in attendance at the start of the summer – blaming a continuing trend for doing sequels, along with the rise in popularity of streaming services.

as well as their hunches were right – especially in August, when box office takings were $625m (£482m), nearly 35% lower than the same month last year.

World War Two epic Dunkirk did draw inside the crowds, as did family films Despicable Me 3 as well as the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean offering – nevertheless they were rare exceptions.

Patrick Corcoran, vice-president of the National Association of Theatre Owners, believes the slump was simply down to the quality of the films that will were released.

“Audiences won’t show up in bulk if you don’t offer them anything to see,” he told the BBC.

“There were no big, broadly appealing movies available to the public coming from the beginning of July through until currently – certainly none to compare to, say, Suicide Squad, which brought in more than $500m (£383m) in 2016.

“The amount the item took in in August accounts for about 60% of the difference between summer 2016 as well as 2017.

“I wouldn’t presume to tell film-makers what to make, nevertheless we always call for more as well as varied options for our patrons at all times of the year. We need big blockbusters, intimate dramas, raucous comedy – you name the item. the item can be worth noting here that will several independent titles performed well This kind of summer.”

However, he warned not to read too much into This kind of summer’s performance.

“This kind of blip in movie-going must be seen in a larger context, which can be that will box office has been more than $10bn annually since 2009, more than $11bn inside the last two years as well as has set records in four of the last several years.

The threat coming from video streaming services should not be overplayed, according to Mr Corcoran.

“Netflix as well as some other in-home offerings are just more of what theatres have faced inside the home market for over 50 years. If people are inclined to go see a movie, the fact that will Netflix exists doesn’t affect that will decision.”

‘Generational shift’

Film data researcher Stephen Follows can be less optimistic.

He believes the industry’s long-term future can be uncertain because young people are not getting into the habit of visiting the cinema.

“the item’s not very convenient for them, especially when compared with some other options like streaming when you can watch movies as many times as you want, the item remembers your place if you pause the item as well as you can watch on multiple devices,” Mr Follows said.

“The idea of going to the cinema seems antiquated to them as well as the item can be possibly a generational shift.

“However, there has been a big increase inside the number of people over 55 going, up by one third, as well as the item might show us what happens at the some other end of the scale with the whole demographic getting older.

“The traditional median age of going to the cinema was 24. If you lose at the youngest age as well as gain at the oldest, the item’s a net loss as well as you lose out on the most lucrative audience. Teenagers used to go in packs to see whatever completely new movie there was, however not bad the item was.”

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The 1946 film Notorious was released in an era of record cinema attendance

Like the US, the UK cinema audience fell in August – down 16% compared with 2016.

The Tom Cruise film American Made, which topped the UK box office for the second week running, only grossed £968,000 – doing the item the first film to top the charts using a take of less than £1m since June 2012.

However, for the year the numbers are not so bad, with cinema attendance up 8% compared to last year.

‘Screenings on demand’

UK cinema-going peaked during as well as immediately after World War Two, using a record 1.63 billion cinema admissions in 1946.

However, the numbers fell dramatically, with only 289 million admissions 20 years later as well as an all-time low of 54 million in 1984.

Going to the movies then started off to become more well-known again as well as inside the past few years about 165 million tickets have been sold in UK cinemas each year.

“The smaller chains like Everyman as well as Curzon are having to do more unusual versions where they are trying to look at showing live theatre or opera as well as screenings on demand, where if they sell enough tickets in a given timeframe they will show a certain film,” said Mr Follows.

One of the biggest debates going on inside the cinema industry can be about the amount of time a film can be available only in cinemas before the item becomes available on DVD or download.

The theatrical “window” generally stands at 12 weeks inside the US as well as 16 weeks elsewhere, although some distributors have been experimenting with doing titles available for home viewing at a premium cost on the same day they are released in cinemas.

Mr Follows adds: “The industry can be working very hard to keep the window as large as the item can. nevertheless if the studios had their way, you would likely walk out of a film as well as be able to buy the DVD for £20 inside the foyer.”

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