Heat wave puts bums on cinema seats

Heat wave puts bums on cinema seats

The local box office has been bolstered by the blistering heat as sweltering Aussies seek out the air conditioned comfort of their local cinema.

Steve Allen, principal at Fusion Strategy, said cinemas are “unquestionably the main winners of the heat wave” while other media, such as TV, may experience a small decline.

“They are going to be somewhere that they can get some relief from it and they are not going to be sitting in front of the TV screen so viewing would normally dip,” the media analyst said.

“My guess is television viewing would be off by 2 to 3% last night because of the heat.”

However, Allen added that it is difficult to pinpoint the exact affect the 40 degree heat had on TV ratings in Sydney last night as there is little consistency in viewing during the holiday period.

The box office coffers have enjoyed a boost as the International Box Office Essentials (IBOE) reported a 20.7% year-on-year increase in local ticket sales between December 25 and January 7, according to The Australian Financial Review.

Boxing Day was the biggest ever at the local box office, according to the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia (MPDAA).

Just under one million Australians hit the cinemas the day after Christmas, generating $10.8m in box office receipts on the top 10 movies alone.

Marc Woodridge, chairman of the MPDAA and managing director of Twentieth Century Fox Film Distributors Pty Ltd, said in a statement: “This year’s diverse line up on Boxing Day has proven to be much stronger than any previous year.”

“The result clearly demonstrates the on-going appeal of the cinema which continues to provide a great value out of home experience for a broad audience.”

Paul Butler, marketing director of Val Morgan, said ticket sales have been very strong and that the holiday period has seen a number of new records set.

"The following week, the week commencing the 27th of December, was another massive week," Butler said.

"The box office total is $45.9m which is actually the highest week since July 2010 and that was up 26% on the same time last year. So it has been really really strong. "

The top three movies at the Australian box office are currently The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Life of Pi and Les Miserables.

The Hobbit took $5.85m this weekend ahead of Life of Pi on $4.94m and Les Miserables on $3.1m.

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