Monday, 1 June 2009
Summer in the City
One of the distinct differences between the cinemagoing public in the UK and the US is the attitude towards the weather. In the US, hot weather pushes people into air-conditioned movie theatres to see the movies that Hollywood lines up for the sunny season.
In the UK, the summer is a harder proposition as the Brits can't seem to go indoors if the clouds are gone. This is clearly a cultural legacy from the legendary bad weather that besieges the British Isles most of the year.
That said, there is a slow shift towards more attendance in the summer, as evidenced by the record attendance figures in 2007 (Simpons Movie, Transformers) and 2008 (Dark Knight, Mamma Mia!). It's still a hard sell for arthouse however, as specialised cinema is still linked to the colder weather.
In 2004, Fahrenheit 9/11 and Motorcycle Diaries managed to stage a succesful summer release, and in 2006, Volver was a late August hit. If the film builds enough momentum, the weather will not stop audiences from finding the films they want to see.