Well it looks like the sun is finally going to come out and the stay of execution we’ve had for the last few weeks is finally going to catch up with us. Or, as James Burke might say, is it?
Normally Easter is the finishing line after which business falls flat on its face. Distributors abandon us to our fate, using this period to dump their hideous Katherine Heigl or Sarah Jessica Parker movies in to the market.
This time last year we were suffering through Something Borrowed, a Rom Com so witless I had eradicated it from my consciousness until I looked back at the records.
Thor was struggling and Water for Elephants had already run dry. Things were so desperate I even booked Hangover 2.
But this is nothing unusual, May and June are the pits. The overdraft goes to the limit, tedious, panicky financial directors decide now is the time to assert their authority, simply compounding our misery.
Not this year though and it all feels rather odd. The start of the year was quite extraordinary and although we aren’t reaching those heights, it’s all been very steady indeed.
Mostly down to Salmon Fishing in the Yemen if I’m honest. A Billy bonus of a film if ever there was one although The Avengers hasn’t been bad at all, but it most definitely had a major boost from the bad weather. If the sun had been out it would have taken far less.
So it was an unusual experience last week when I went to the Cinema Exhibitors Association centenary lunch and encountered all my fellow independent cinema owners wandering around calm as Hindu cows. Trust me, a room full of happy cinema owners is unheard of.
We’re even cautiously optimistic about June, Men in Black 3 is a better film than it has any right to be and should run on. The buzz around Prometheus is strong, although that might just be the fan boy in me. I have a feeling it will play quite upmarket and not simply be multiplex fodder.
At this point I would like to make it clear I am in no way being smug. We will almost certainly get our comeuppance a bit further down the line, but for the moment let us just enjoy it will you?
I remember clearly wandering around the cinema the night after we opened the new third screen in 2000. All houses were full and a wave of self-congratulation overtook me. Look what I have created I crowed to myself.
Almost immediately business collapsed and went through one of the worst periods I can remember.
It’s going to get bad again, that’s the nature of the business, but it’s also its nature that it will certainly get better again afterwards.
We’re lucky because we constantly change what we are selling. If you don’t like that film, another one will be along later that you do.
Just no more I Don’t Know How She does It please.