How can cinemas stay in business?
Crisis in the film industry: how is cinema going in the Corona autumn?
The cinemas in Germany are in a difficult economic situation. Isolated successes cannot hide the lack of visitors and films.
by Bettina Peulecke
On Friday last week it was announced that the film release of the new James Bond from November was postponed again - now Daniel Craig should start as 007 in April 2021. Various other blockbusters, from which the film industry, which was heavily influenced by the Corona crisis, had expected the urgently needed revival of business, are also a long time coming. In addition, there are the current seat restrictions, the time of the open air events is over. How is the cinema going in the Corona autumn?
When it comes to going to the cinema, too, there are apparently clear differences in behavior between older and younger people. Many, especially the elderly, do not dare to go to the cinemas because they sit in a closed room with others for a long period of time. Some also express concerns that the air conditioning and ventilation could spread the corona virus in the hall. Younger cinema-goers tend to think that the distances offer sufficient security. Regardless of security concerns, the manageable range of films keeps people away from the cinemas.
Sci-fi spectacle "Tenet" attracts 1.4 million to the cinemas
After all, the first and now also the last Hollywood blockbuster of this year, the sci-fi spectacle "Tenet", for which the industry had high hopes, came out. And these were also fulfilled, as Christine Berg, managing director of the Main Association of German Film Theaters, says: "The thriller 'Tenet' attracted over 1.4 million visitors to the cinema and at the same time ensured that cinema comes back to people's minds . The cinema is back, you can go back inside. So I would say the hopes were fulfilled and the numbers were really really good. "
Only a third of the seats in the cinema halls can be used
Also in the family-run cinema "Casablanca" in Oldenburg, "Tenet" did above average, as did the big German film "Jim Knopf und die Wilde 13", according to owner and managing director Tobias Rossmann. In the short term, the demand actually exceeded the supply: "We still have the distance regulations of 1.50 meters and can actually only occupy a maximum of a third of the places. On the last weekends we have actually been in the situation a few times that we have a had to send a few people away because there were no more places due to the distance rules. "
No economic work possible at the moment
That sounds and is positive, and Tobias Rossmann puts it in the foreground because he prefers to bring good news to people rather than bad. Still, the situation is serious. "On the other hand, of course, we are far from being able to work economically here," explains Rossmann. "Because the conditions are just the way they are. We won't necessarily get out of that for the next few months either. So it remains difficult."
60 percent drop in sales in Germany
Earlier this week, the major international cinema chain "Cineworld" announced the temporary closure of all of its 536 houses in the USA and Great Britain. 40,000 employees are threatened with unemployment. In Germany, all cinemas have recorded a drop in sales of 60 percent for the last three months, while it was 100 percent during the complete shutdown before. "There is no question that the cinemas are not doing well and that the cinemas are only buttering up at the moment and are not able to take their own money to finance their costs at all," says Berg.
The question that remains is how long the cinemas can hold out. "You can't name a deadline. But if people actually change their behavior again and don't go to the cinema as much, then the first bankruptcies will come relatively quickly," assumes Berg. "Then we'll talk about not getting through autumn."
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NDR Info | 07.10.2020 | 8:55 am
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