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Thursday, 9 July 2009

Holdovers


Mondays are typically holdovers day in the business. This is when the results from the weekend are in, and exhibitors and distributors negotiate to see what show times films will get (if any). For example, this Monday, our programmer arranged for a second week of Public Enemies based on the weekend business (which, while not spectacular, was not disastrous).
Mondays are tough for little films from small distributors, which often open on very small screen averages (the average box office revenue taken per screen in a weekend) and struggle to keep their screens. With over 500 films released a year in the UK, screen space scarce (specially in London), and blockbusters taking up most screens in multiplexes, it's difficult to stand out.
Because distributors spend most of their marketing budget upfront to build an audience from the opening weekend, if it doesn't perform from the Friday, its often hard to sustain the release, since all your advertising will be gone by the second week (unless you have a hit, in which case you can afford to increase your spend).
At The Dukes, despite being a single screen cinema, we are able to play nearly 300 distinct feature films a year (not counting private screenings). What that also means is that no film, no matter how big, plays for more than two weeks and more likely, it'll only play for one week shared with another title.
So what? It's a tough business, audiences are picky, and with so much bad product clogging the attention of customers, it's extra hard to get them to notice your little film.

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