British indie takes over quarter million to reach top 10
Surpassing all expectations, the British independent film Northern Soul packed cinema screens this weekend to take over a quarter million pounds from just shy of 90 selected locations. With strong screen occupancy, including a high proportion of sell out shows, the film made the top ten from around 10% of the number of shows a standard release would typically be given across its opening three days. No other British title this year opening on under 100 screens has reached this 3-day figure. A further sixty venues are currently confirmed to come on board over the next few days and weeks.
The film’s theatrical release, through Munro Film Services, has been responsive to the public demand for more cinemas, resulting in a significant upweight in screens showing Elaine Constantine’s portrayal of the northern soul scene in the 1970s.
As many shows sold out in advance, cinemas had to adapt to demand by moving the film to larger auditoria and adding more shows. The Reel Cinemas group of cinemas, for example, which increased the number of locations the film was playing at their Hull cinema, saw 6 sell out shows over two days. The Broadway Nottingham screened the film 7 times over the weekend in their 300+ seater, all to full capacity; all available tickets in Birmingham were snapped up before the film opened on Friday. As one cinema manager said, “The film has gone off like a sky rocket”.
Munro Film Services managing director, Frank Smith, said, “The demand for the film has been incredible. People want to see it on the big screen and in a social environment. Almost all cinemas have experienced sell-out shows, which is testament to how much the film resonates with this audience.”