Asger Flygare, CEO of Scandinavian exhibitor Nordisk Film Cinemas, has penned an impassioned letter calling for the industry to support theaters by releasing fresh product, claiming the demand is there from audiences.
Flygare pointed to the green shoots of recovery emerging from the Danish film industry, using the example of Thomas Vinterberg’s Mads Mikkelsen-starring pic Druk (English title Another Round), which was released locally on September 24.
The film has clocked an estimated 800,000 admissions, making it the best performing Danish movie in three years. That’s despite the current COVID protocols, including restricting venues to 70% capacity.
“All movies released in the Danish market since the cinema opening in June has over performed their pre-COVID estimates with app. 26% on average,” he wrote, explaining the absence big-ticket international releases was creating space for local fare.
Flygare said that during this period his company had learned audiences will adapt to the new reality and that the perceived negative effects of the safety measures are diminishing. He added that reduced capacities were rarely an issue as cinemas on average were not selling out before the pandemic. In total, he claimed 93.4% of the admissions recorded last year could have been recorded this year under the current provisions.
With all that in mind, the CEO called on distributors to support their theatrical partners with new titles.
“From Nordisk Film we urge distributors to come forward with their movies – there is plenty of capacity to go around, and when the capacity limit is reached then, and only then, should distributors and cinemas alike postpone releases,” he wrote.