Have you tried to go to the cinema in the last week? Was it to see anything other than Frozen II? If so, you’ve likely had problems. The animated Disney sequel, which in seven days has a worldwide gross of almost $400m, has dominated screens everywhere.
Clearly, a Christmassy cash snowman with coins for eyes and a roll of banknotes for a nose was always going to have cinema chain executives drooling icicles. You can’t blame them, cinema is a much-threatened excursion as we all become sofa situated, lazy viewers who throw away films and TV with the casual flick of a button.
But, if you aren’t a parent or an under ten, Frozen II probably isn’t for you. Even if it is, there’s more than a slim chance you don’t just like Disney princess films. Hopefully. Trying to see anything other than Frozen II is unforgiving work, as its icy allure has families everywhere putting snow chains on buggies to flock to see it.
Just by way of example, completely at random, in and around Croydon every cinema has scythed down showings of all other films and/or bumped them to time slots only students, the unemployed or senior citizens can watch. Like Countdown.
Vue has two big cinemas in Croydon, both are running fifteen+ screenings a day on three screens at a time. Supplying the demand, sure, but do other cinemagoers not get a second thought?
The decision to pull Blue Story from their screens by two major chains (one which has now reversed the decision) was officially because of the fear of gang violence. A few dickheads in Birmingham tarnishing the reputation of a “carefully told morality story” allowing the papers a sensational scoop.
Perhaps this is a conspiracy theory, but if you’re trying to hawk a Disney princess film to mums and their darling products of human conception while you’ve got a scaremongering press trotting out nonsense of imminent gang wars at the local multiplex AND you want to free up screens to put on more showings… well, let’s just say there might be a two birds one snowball decision-making process there.
It’s hard to blame the powers that be for attacking what is a safe bet, slam dunk, home run money maker to boost profits. Does everyone else really have to be frozen out though?
The only ray of light is that if this is what it takes, once a year or so for a few weeks, to keep cinemas surviving and able to show a broad range of films the rest of the year, then maybe it’s not a terrible thing. For now though, baby it’s cold outside.