Analysis: Media Track - Cinema has never had it so good as affluent audiences lure high-profile advertisers

It is just three months since the UK cinema industry celebrated its most successful weekend in history - and already the record has been broken again.

It is just three months since the UK cinema industry celebrated its

most successful weekend in history - and already the record has been

broken again.



Over the weekend of 11-13 February, admissions reached a new high of

pounds 14.2 million, pushed by the release of Toy Story 2 and The Beach.

Last year as a whole was a boom period for the industry, with admissions

at their highest for 25 years and box office receipts up by 11 per

cent.



This is being matched by an increase in ad revenue and higher-profile

advertisers. Revenue for 1999 is expected to reach pounds 123 million,

according to figures released by the Advertising Association.



This is an increase of 27 per cent on last year, driven by a record

number of high-grossing films: ten films pulled over pounds 15 million

each, compared with six in 1998.



A demographic shift has led to the production of films with a broader

appeal, according to Craig Harris, national sales director at Pearl &

Dean. He cites movies like Shakespeare in Love and Titanic as

examples.



’Since 1994 there has been an overall decline in the population of

15- to 34-year-olds. The film industry has, by necessity, targeted a

wider audience range,’ he says.



In fact, 68 per cent of cinema goers are now under 35, compared with 73

per cent five years ago. However, the number of ABC1s has increased,

with 66 per cent falling into this category. In fact, the cinema

audience has one of the highest ABC1 profiles in media, higher than

Channel 4 and BBC 2.



This broader, more upmarket audience is attracting a similar kind of

advertiser. In 1995, food and drink accounted for 50 per cent of

revenue.



In 1999, half the adspend for the year was spread across the top four

categories - food, drink, cosmetics and cars. With the emergence of

multiplexes, which now take 65 per cent of admissions, mainstream

national advertisers have almost completely replaced ads for local curry

houses.





MediaTel’s database is available at www.mediatel.co.uk. For more

information contact 0207-439 7575 or e-mail info@mediatel.co.uk.



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