Gower Street’s Director of Theatrical Insights, Rob Mitchell, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Roxborough this week about the potential impact of the recently identified Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus on theatrical business. The THR article, titled ‘Omicron: European Box Office Hoping for a Christmas Miracle as Cinemas Close, Cases Rise‘ was published Dec. 20.
In the piece Rob suggested the overall impact of closures in Denmark and the Netherlands was not of major concern for global and regional prospects so long as bigger markets didn’t follow. “The box office impact of one of the big six territories in Europe shutting down – the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, or Russia – would be much more severe,” he told Roxborough.
Reflecting on the success of SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME’s near-global launch last weekend, Rob said any enforced lockdowns would be “particularly frustrating” for affected cinema owners. “SPIDER-MAN showed clearly that, for the right film, audiences are ready to come back to cinemas. In places like the Netherlands where theatres have shut, that audience has been lost,” he added.
The article also featured contributions from Laura Houlgatte, CEO of UNIC (the International Union of Cinemas); Christine Berg, head of German exhibitor association HDF Kino; and Eric Marti, General Manager, Comscore Movies France.
Read the full article by clicking on the link (above) or image (below).