Theatrical biz falls 27% on Tuesday
The U.K. riots have dinged the country’s box office grosses.Theatrical revenue fell 16% to £2.67 million ($4.3 million) on Monday and 27% to $3.9 million on Tuesday, vs. the same days last week, according to Rentrak. Dozens of theaters closed Tuesday on the advice of the police. Odeon-UCI, the leading chain with 117 sites, closed 24 theaters across the country. Nineteen went dark in London and surrounding suburbs, including the flagship in London’s Leicester Square, while sites in provincial cities, such as Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol, also closed as the riots spread across the country. Cineworld, the No. 2 chain with 78 sites, shuttered two theaters in south London, while arthouse chain Picturehouse closed four in London. Vue, Blighty’s third largest chain with 68 sites, failed to respond to requests for information, but it closed its multiplex in Newbury on Tuesday on police advice, and other sites are likely to have been affected as many are in shopping malls — prime targets for looters. Lucy Jones, Rentrak’s director of client services, theatrical, U.K. and Ireland, said the B.O. drop was also attributable to warmer weather and the differences in films being shown. “Super 8,” which opened Friday, took $3.6 million over the weekend, proving less of an attraction than “Captain America: The First Avenger,” which opened the previous Friday and took $4.8 million over its first weekend. The drawing power of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ also diminished in its fourth week in the U.K., compared with the previous week. Thanks to the presence of 16,000 police officers, London’s streets were relatively quiet on Tuesday after three nights of rioting, but violence broke out in Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham and Bristol, with stores looted and set on fire, vehicles overturned and burned, and three men killed in Birmingham as they defended their property. More than 1,100 people have been arrested. Prime Minister David Cameron promised that police would restore order. “This continued violence is simply not acceptable, and it will be stopped. We will not put up with this in our country. We will not allow a culture of fear to exist on our streets.”
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