Box Office Bonanza

How cinema is bucking current economic trends and how licences can benefit.
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Cinema remains the most popular form of out-of-home activity, attracting 87 per cent of the UK population. Indeed, research carried out by CAA/FAME went so far as to say that cinema is recession proof, citing the fact that it actually grew by three per cent in the last recession.

Of course, a surge of big name blockbusters over recent summers has gone some way to keeping the popularity of cinema high. Film franchises including The Lord of the Rings, Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter have helped push up cinema admissions and ad spend in the UK steadily. In 2005 and 2006, that figure stood at £188 million, increasing to £203 million in 2007 and peaking at £205 million in 2008 – in part thanks to the phenomenal performance of The Dark Knight.

In fact, 2008 was the biggest summer for admissions since 1969, racking up 53.6 million. July was the second highest month on record with 21.4 million, followed by 20.4 million in August.

This year, the estimate is for £207 million. And it got off to a strong start. January and February saw the best attendance figures for five years (source: Cinema Advertising Association). January’s were up 7.7 per cent year on year to 14.5 million, while February experienced a leap of 16 per cent year on year to 15 million – making this the highest February total since 2003. The strong start to the year has been helped by family films including Bolt and Hotel for Dogs, plus the success of multi-Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire.

Already this summer we’ve seen the likes of Star Trek (which, according to Box Office Mojo estimates, has notched up $369.2m at the worldwide box office to date), Terminator: Salvation ($323.4 million), The Hangover ($213.5 million) and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($387 million). Still to come this summer are Ice Age 3, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and GI Joe among others – all likely to pull in significant audience numbers.

With admissions growing, more brand owners have been turning to cinema to capture the attention of consumers. Leading cinema in-foyer media specialist Boomerang says that the average dwell time in the foyer is 21 minutes and this is where the most innovative advertising can take place. Media formats available include digital foyer screens, six-sheet posters, washroom posters, interactive postcard media (which has 100 per cent coverage in all cinema multiplexes in the UK) and mobile advertising.

Examples of a successful cinema campaign include Jetix, which selected 100 cinema sites to advertise its TV channel. Targeted around family films, six-sheet posters were created, along with 100,000 double-sided posters folded into A6 postcards. These were distributed via in-foyer postcard racks. Boomerang says that 93 per cent of the postcards were picked up by the target audience.

Paramount also used in-foyer advertising to promote the release of Monsters vs Aliens in 3D to a family audience. Using a lenticular creative technique, the six-sheet posters provided a 3D effect to promote the screenings of the film through selected Odeon, Cineworld and Empire sites.

To find out more about Boomerang Media and its services, click here. Alternatively, call the London office on 020 7379 4180 or the Aldershot office on 01252 368368.


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