Cinema Curator at Watershed and Chair of the Film Hub South West, Mark Cosgrove feeds back on the cinema’s programming challenges and successes of the last week.
Debra Granik’s Leave no Trace has garnered fantastic reviews, however, given the exceptional weather and other sport related distraction, these 5* reviews have failed to translate at the box-office. It took a pretty thin £500ish screen average on a print release just shy of 100. It’s a great shame because films more and more get defined by these opening weekend figures. Leave No Trace’s quiet absorbing drama would probably have benefitted from an autumn or spring release but we are where we are and there is not a lot can be done about the weather. The audience is there for this film and I was pleased to find out that we had one of the highest figures outside of London. It’s a rewarding film for audiences and well worth screening.
The Happy Prince was our next highest film over the weekend buoyed by an in person appearance from director/actor Rupert Everett late last week which helpfully generated a lot of positive word of mouth. Freak Show is a small release but has played well to LGBT audiences and helped by being framed in our partnership with Queer Vision on the lead up to Pride.
Also over the weekend we hosted the first Doc and Roll tour of films on music and musicians. All of these were introduced by either the talent involved or the organisers of the tour. The personal appearance as well as subject matter – particularly The Wedding Present – achieved healthy admissions.
"The first professional trip out of Bristol since March last year was to London to catch up on films. I have been eager to re-engage with festivals; so decided London Film Festival would be my first tentative re-emerging steps."
Films, stories and music from more than a dozen countries and the premiere of its own first self-made film will be on offer when Afrika Eye - the South West’s biggest festival of African cinema and culture – returns to venues across Bristol and beyond from November 8th to 16th.
We invite all our Members to join our 2021 Annual Members Forum. We want to hear what is and isn’t working, explore your ideas for the future of the Hub and wider BFI Film Audience Network