Cinemas will show Euro 2012 matches live in 3D
CINEMA bosses will offer live screenings of the Euro 2012 soccer matches, Wimbledon, rock concerts and operas in 3D in a bid to attract punters as receipts slump.
Box-office takings at the movies dropped to €25.1m in the first three months of the year -- down 10pc on the same period last year.
It means takings are down more than a quarter in the past two years, and cinema bosses will look to new markets and to big-name sequels this summer.
Graham Spurling, director of the Movies@ chain of cinemas, said there had been a major uptake on their screenings of operas, ballets and live philharmonic concerts over the past four years.
"I don't think it will survive solely on film, there will need to be a little add-on," Mr Spurling said.
"We'll be showing the European Championship soccer live in 3D and the Wimbledon men's final live."
Sporting events and late-night concerts also provided the chance to use the screens when the building would ordinarily be closed, he added.
Mr Spurling said: "Obviously we need movies but because of streaming and Netflix we are constantly looking for our unique selling point that will get people into the building."
Ticket sales have improved somewhat in recent weeks, with 'The Hunger Games' attracting a major teenage audience.
Mr Spurling says when cinema-goers do go out, they tend to splurge on add-ons such as popcorn.
Comedies have continued to provide some light relief for cinema bosses as both '21 Jump Street' and 'The Descendants' took in €1.6m, and 'American Pie Reunion' looks set to follow suit with €778,000 in ticket stubs in the first few crucial box-office opening days.
Industry analysts Rentrak said box-office performance might still be down but the deficit was diminishing.
Carlton Screen Advertising has predicted a blockbuster boost over the summer months, with some much touted sequels including 'The Dark Knight Rises', 'The Amazing Spider-Man' and 'Men In Black 3'.
"The summer slate looks very strong," Mr Spurling said. "Even if the sun was to split the stones for the summer, there are films there that would over-ride the weather."