Rainy weather fails to bring a torrent of cash at the box office
NORMALLY cinema bosses relish a wet summer -- but this year has been a real damp squib so far.
Even the rainy weather has failed to lure significant numbers to the box office, with the 'Avengers Assemble' film and much-hyped 'The Hunger Games' failing to halt a slide in ticket sales.
Now cinemas are praying that late-summer offerings such as the new Disney and Batman films will turn things around.
Up until the end of June this year, cinemas have taken in €51.6m at the box office, down from €55.9m in the same period last year.
Graham Spurling, director of the Movies@ chain of cinemas, said the offerings from Hollywood simply hadn't matched the seat-filling power of last year's comedy hits 'Bridesmaids' and 'Hangover II'.
"We haven't duplicated that this year. The more adult the comedy, the more people tend to like it," the cinema boss said.
"We're all hanging on for August 1 for 'Ted'. It is from the creators of 'Family Guy' and is about a speaking, living teddy bear who is quite rude.
"It also coincides with the family release 'Brave' from Disney. So that could be a potentially good week for us."
But other films expected to draw the crowds include the latest Batman movie 'The Dark Knight Rises' after the last in the series took in €6.4m.
The animation of Dr Seuss's 'The Lorax' is also anticipated.
Mr Spurling said the economy was a major factor in the drop in box-office takings, with a "tough" business climate for cinemas. He pointed out the drop in ticket sales had been far higher in rural cinemas.
The takings have been showing a steady decline over the past three years.
However, a spokesman for industry analysts Rentrak put the drop in takings down to a combination of the lure of the Euro 2012 football matches and the lack of comedies since April.
"We don't wake up with a glum face if we see a rainy weekend coming up. It doesn't do any harm. It has helped us maintain some form of level in comparison with previous summers," he said.
"It had an effect in country areas where you have had a lot of holidaymakers coming down to caravans -- if there is a rainy day then there is a massive increase due to the rain."
So far this year, action movie 'Avengers Assemble' tops the box office list with takings of €3.7m, closely followed by 'The Hunger Games' at €2.2m.
Then comes 'The Muppets' at €2m and 'American Pie: Reunion' at €1.68m.