The UK’s Cinema First has announced that 450 films will be made available for theatrical screenings once movie theaters re-open for business in the coming weeks. The content has been collated by the Film Distributors’ Association with the aim of aiding programmers and cinema operators to choose the widest possible mix of product that will help draw audiences back to the movies. While a final official decision on when cinemas can re-open is still awaited from the UK government, it is currently anticipated that this will be from early July in England, with re-opening dates still to be confirmed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. (Cineworld recently set plans for a July 10 UK start date.)
The collection has been compiled from many of the UK’s distribution companies under the aegis of the FDA, and forms part of the unified sector business recovery planning currently being undertaken by both FDA and UKCA, via cross-industry body, Cinema First.
The films have been split into 25 categories for ease of programming; all audiences and age groups are catered for across the available titles. Included are classics, franchise favorites, indies, family and event cinema, and a host of films that were playing when the coronavirus lockdown hit. Genres such as comedy, documentary, musical, horror, romance and sci-fi are all represented.
See below for a selection of titles that make up the offering. The full list is available by request to the FDA in a document called “Relaunching Cinema: Content for Recovery.”
Andy Leyshon, Chief Executive of the Film Distributors’ Association said, “This amazing collection of content represents all that’s great about cinema and should enthrall and delight film-lovers the length and breadth of the land. Cinemagoing holds such a vital role in society, able to entertain and educate in equal measure, and returning audiences will be able to once again experience the magic of film in its truest form.”
The list of available titles is part of the first stage of the cinema recovery strategy being undertaken by Cinema First, and the vast array of films should help theaters get back up and running in anticipation of new studio pictures Mulan and Tenet which are currently dated for July 24 and 31, respectively.
Cinemas in European and Asian markets that are already re-open for business have been leaning on library titles to engage audiences in the first stages of the ease of COVID restrictions while there is also a clear desire for new product.
Recent findings from a nationwide bi-weekly FDA audience survey conducted by MetrixLab, found that three out of four regular UK cinemagoers are looking forward to returning to theaters. Cinemagoing was also highlighted as the 3rd most missed out-of-home activity during the lockdown, with audiences favoring the unique big screen spectacle and immersive experience that cinemas offer.
Here’s just a small selection of what’s available to UK exhibitors:
81⁄2, Bicycle Thieves, Casablanca, Breakfast At Tiffany’s, His Girl Friday, Singin’ In The Rain, Some Like It Hot, The Third Man, 1917, Bohemian Rhapsody, Gravity, La La Land, The Philadelphia Story, Roman Holiday, The Wizard Of Oz, Aquaman, Bad Boys For Life, Crazy Rich Asians, Do The Right Thing, The Fast & Furious films, the latest Jumanji installments, Moonlight, 28 Days Later, Bend It Like Beckham, Dunkirk, The Italian Job, Four Weddings And A Funeral, Paddington, Rocketman, Apollo 13, The Dark Knight trilogy, the Harry Potter, Hunger Games and Conjuring series, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Empire Strikes Back, Anchorman, Bridesmaids, The Hangover films, Knives Out, Jojo Rabbit, Despicable Me, Peter Rabbit, The Princess Bride, Pan’s Labyrinth, Parasite, Onward and many, many more.