We are now halfway through the summer holidays with the lengthy duration of our UK heatwave behind us – however it seems it hasn’t just been the reservoirs emptying.
The combination of the unseasonably warm weather in combination with England’s good run in the World Cup has shown that cinema attendance across the UK has been hit significantly, with box office sales falling 20% between June and July.
UK cinemas took £103m at the box office in this period, a downturn of 19% on the £128m taken during the same period last summer. This is despite the release of summer blockbusters such as Jurassic Park and Ocean’s 8.
Unfortunately, the slump in ticket sales is also echoed in high street sales during the same period, with the volume of goods sold across the retail sector also showing a downturn in sales, versus previous periods.
As stated in The Guardian, the chief executive of the UK Cinema Association, Phil Clapp said “operators had got used to planning for summer slumps during big sporting years but 2018 had been worse than expected.
“We always expected the World Cup to be a challenging period for cinema. Major sporting events like that and the Olympics always present a challenge, but we didn’t expect perhaps England’s run and the continued hot weather,” he said. “It has presented a double challenge and undoubtedly cinema admissions are not where we we would like to have seen them so far.”
Whilst there had been plans by Hollywood studios for potential attendance declines, with big studios holding back releases, the attendance numbers have been on the whole disappointing. However, it has not affected year on year cinema numbers. The UK box office is down only 4% in the year to 12 July, thanks to the domination of Avengers: Infinity War in April.
All is not lost – the summer box office period continues until early September and with the heatwave behind us, plus audiences currently enjoying multiple viewings of Mamma Mia 2 and Jason Statham’s performance in “The Meg”, box office sales are expected to pick up before the end of the summer holiday.