Friday, September 04, 2009

Changes in attendance patterns

I've noticed a couple things over the summer I thought were interesting. They may or may not continue during the school year.

Fewer Children to kid's movies. - Even for UP which was a big hit most of the attendance was adults, the other kid's movies we played didn't do great. The matinees just barely broke even. I was planning to play ICE AGE 3 but I don't think I will now. I don't think adults want to see it enough.

Yet more spreading out of business over the nights. - When I first started at Western Film we had a fairly standard pattern, busy weekends and discount Tuesday, the rest of the week was fairly quiet. Over the last few years it spread out until most nights were at least somewhat busy. This summer it got even weirder. Sunday and Monday were often busier than Friday or Saturday?! Tuesdays aren't as busy but sometimes Wednesday or Thursday are busier than Tuesday.

During the school year I attributed this to more night classes plus students going out to other places on the weekends. For the summer I think it's people going away or whatever on the weekend and seeing the movies during the week. I kinda like this trend, it takes the same number of staff to man the theatre for 10 people or 60. If we get the same number of people spread over more nights then we have less problems with lineups or the theatre getting too crowded and people not getting to sit where they want.

In very general terms people seem to be willing to see films they haven't heard a lot about but have heard are good. I'm not sure how much this affects it but a couple people have said they decided to see a film because we were playing it on the assumption that it must be good. It makes sense, as a single screen theatre I'm not going to play a film that isn't good if people also haven't heard of it. I only play bad films that were big hits (I'm looking at you Twilight).

Next Week's Movies Sep 4 - 10

Next Week is one of the most important of the year. We try to get as many of the new students as possible to know Western Film is here and hopefully go to a film as part of thier orientation. This year I got two movies I consider to be perfect Frosh Week movies. Both have general appeal and are comedies good for going to in groups. THE PROPOSAL is at 7pm and THE HANGOVER plays at 9:20.

My current plan is the switch THE HANGOVER to 7pm starting Sept 11. I think I can get a third week out of it and there's probably a lot of people who want to see it but don't want to go to the late show for whatever reason. I'll decide on Tuesday what to play as a late show that week.

The Ugly Truth should be available, MOON is still on my list to play. Harry Potter may come off soon. I may try Star Trek for another week once the students come back. That's one of those films that can be watched more than once. I've seen the whole movie 4 times, the beginning 5 times and the ending about 8 while working.

The last couple weeks.

I've been bad about posting again. I'll go through what I've played the last few weeks in case anyone cares.

UP- I decided to try to do both evenings shows plus matinees for this one. The late show was surprisingly busy. The matinees did okay but we got mostly adults, not a lot of kids. I may bring it back.

STAR TREK- Did well enough it's second week that I may bring it back during the school year.


TRANSFORMERS- was surprisingly quiet, not dead but not what I would have expected.

FUNNY PEOPLE - didn't do very well, I understood why after I watched it. How can so many funny people make a movie that's not very funny and way too long.

AWAY WE GO. - this was a bit of an experiment. I had an opening after Funny People and no other new movies were available. I wasn't sure how to full it as the show would be rather late starting because of the length of Funny People. My first choice was MOON but there weren't any prints available. If AWAY WE GO had not been available I would have put in UP for another week. In retrospect I should have switched the order and played AWAY WE GO at 7pm and FUNNY PEOPLE for the late show. AWAY WE GO probably would have out grossed Funny People then.

THE HURT LOCKER - another bit of an experiment, got a lot of great reviews but awareness was low. It actually did better than I expected and it's a good sign that people will take a chance on good movies.

BRUNO did okay but I expected more. The people that did come tended to laugh a lot.

THE HANGOVER- did quite well for a 10pm show. I'm bringing it back from Frosh week as the late show and plan to play it again the following week at 7pm to give people a chance to see it who don't want to see the late show.

These movies I rejected.

ALIENS IN THE ATTIC- Fox was unusually nice and was going to let us split it but it wouldn't have done any business.

I LOVE YOU BETH COPPER- Fox plus wouldn't have done any business.

A PERFECT GETAWAY- a okay little action film but wouldn't have done any business.