'Tenet' has lifted the box office, marking a huge milestone in the start of the cinema sector’s revival. Despite being closed from March – July, cinema admissions have hit a high for 2020, with industry admissions reaching over 700,000 in a week for the first time in lockdown, proving that people still have an appetite for watching new content on the big screen.
However, cinema-going habits are changing. While attendance has been growing significantly since cinemas reopened, attendance to date is showing that people are attending more midweek. Additionally, people who are most eager are turning up within opening days and weeks, while others who may be more cautious will wait, meaning films are expected to run in theatres for longer.
What will remain unique to cinema is that young people will drive this return to growth, with any drop-off so far expected more from an older audience. Cinema’s ability to engage the hard-to-reach young audiences that have flocked to ad-less streaming sites during lockdown will be even more relevant.
Advertisers are also showing confidence and returning to the big screen, with key categories already utilising the cinema as part of their AV media mix including eCommerce, finance, government, social and political and telecoms.
Karen Stacey, CEO, Digital Cinema Media (DCM), commented: “The opening numbers for Tenet are a huge milestone for advertisers keen to make a bold return to cinema, underlying the continued appeal of being captivated by great stories on the big screen in an immersive, distraction-free environment. As the UK public gets back to the things they love, whether it’s the 64 million+ discounted meals ordered through the government’s Eat out to Help Out scheme, or the hundreds of thousands of cinema tickets being sold weekly, we are helping to build consumer confidence in returning safely to these shared experiences that we’ve all missed so much.”
CEO, Pearl & Dean, Kathryn Jacob, added: “At times this year, it’s felt like the time-bending qualities seen in Nolan’s Tenet were a reality – thankfully, things appear to be getting back to something more familiar. These incredible opening numbers confirm what we already know in the cinema industry – that there is simply nothing that compares to the magic of the big screen, and people can’t wait to get back to it. Advertisers should feel encouraged and excited to start reaching audiences again through this most loved of mediums – and there are many more exciting films yet to open this year. Watch this space.”
As customer confidence grows over the coming weeks and more people will feel comfortable going to the cinema, cinema advertising houses DCM and Pearl & Dean are confident that cinema audience levels will return to 2019 levels in the coming months. This confidence is driven by the number of releases still to come that will create cultural moments and bring people together in a positive, shared way and that will delight and entertain both advertisers and audiences.
In Q4, 2020 titles include: the new Bond film 'No Time to Die', 'Wonder Woman 1984', 'Black Widow', 'Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway', 'Dune' and 'West Side Story' for the rest of the year.
In 2021, the slate is packed with blockbusters, particularly strong for 16 - 34 year olds and family audiences, including 'Jurassic World: Dominion', 'Top Gun: Maverick', 'Minions: The Rise of Gru', 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3' and the next 'Spider-Man'.