In this blog last week, I suggested that "cinemas might be one of the few recession-proof industries out there at the moment". In today's London Paper I was facing the headline "Blockbusters beat slump at Cineworld" followed by the following opening sentence:
"Cineworld today declared itself "recession-proof" as blockbusters such as Batman and Mamma Mia drew massive crowds."
It seems as if Cineworld's chief executive Stephen Wiener agrees with my outlook. He has said:
"I have been in the business for almost 39 years and everyone always says nothing is recession-proof, but going to the movies is as recession-proof as you can find."
Although admissions were down over the first 6 months of 2008, this has been simply put down to a lack of true blockbusters being released over this period (only National Treasure 2 seems to have done any reasonable business - good ol' Nick Cage! - see the video below).
With recent hits like Indiana Jones 4, Iron Man, Sex and the City, The Dark Knight and Mamma Mia and with further hits on the horizon (007 Quantum of Solace anyone?) it looks like it could be an incredibly healthy end of the year.
Traditionally recessions have tended to favour cinemas. For the past 3 recessions, cinemas have managed to successfully ride the Credit Crunches, as even though people look to save money by not going to bars, restaurants and High Street shops, the one luxury they feel they can afford every now and then is the cinema. Now we just have to see how much "The Hobbit" will make for Cineworld around Christmas 2010.