BBC - Mark Kermode's film blog

« Previous | Main | Next »

Weather Proof

Post categories:

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode | 14:46 UK time, Tuesday, 17 July 2012

There's a strong belief among industry analysts that cinema attendance owes a lot to the weather. I reckon that if you're a real film fan it doesn't matter - what do you think?

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit Mark's blog to view the video.


Related Posts on Kermode Uncut
The Top Ten Alternative Christmas Movies

Mark's reviews on 5 live
Mark's latest film reviews

Hear Mark Kermode review the week's new films every Friday from 2pm on BBC Radio 5 live. Kermode & Mayo's Film Review is also available as a free podcast to download and keep.



Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    If you're a real film fan it doesn't matter at all but they're aiming for the 'casual fan' not film fans. It doesn't matter for film fans but it matters for studios.

  • Comment number 2.

    No, if there is a film I want to catch in the cinema, no weather forecast is going to in any way alter my decision to go and see the film. Saying that I watched Magnolia for the 2nd time yesterday and it was one of the worst days of rain that I have seen for a long time. Admittedly I did think to myself, there is probably no better day to sit down and watch this mammoth of film - it does extend the 3 hour mark after all.

  • Comment number 3.

    Living in Belfast, it's almost always raining no matter the time of year, so generally the weather plays little part in my choice to attend a screening. But even if that weren't the case, if a film I'm enthusiastically anticipating is released during a bad weather period, it wouldn't deter me in the slightest.

  • Comment number 4.

    Myself being a devoted cineaste, it makes absolutely no difference to me whether it is raining cats and dogs or scorching hot barbeque weather. I'm like the postman. I will make every effort to go to the cinema, wind rain or shine.

    Interestingly enough though, my non-film friends have decided to go the cinema sometimes based on the weather, mainly when it a glorious summer's day, something that we seem to be lacking at the moment, but even then, if there is a film that they desperately wanted to see, then it would not matter what the weather was doing, they would go and see that film anyway.

    If people really want to see a film, they'll go and see a film. Films like The Avengers will never be adversely affected by the weather. That film would still make the money that it did. It may make a difference with the lesser films, but with the big blockbusters, I believe it would make none to very little difference in their box office.

    If people want to see a film, regardless of them being cineastes or not, then people will go and see a film, wind, rain, or shine.

  • Comment number 5.

    Makes no real difference to me. It's quite a nice day and I will be spending it watching a double bill of 'The Hunter' and 'Seekinig a Friend for the End of the World'. Although, during the great, 20 degree plus weather we had earlier this year, when I spent the best part of a week in the cinema watching the likes of 'Act of Valour' and 'The Hunger Games', that proved to be enough to make me question how I was spending my time.

  • Comment number 6.

    Dr K,

    As a mere 2-fendered friend, the weather does have a part to play in my cine-habits - if it is pouring I'd think twice before getting on my bike and heading to my local world of cine. There's no joy to be had in sitting through a two-hour film with a wet bum.

  • Comment number 7.

    Firstly, I love the clip! You look proplerly drenched Mark! Can you see through those glasses?

    As for the question: I have a vivid memory of a friend and I going to see Max (a film about the life of a young Hitler)at lunchtime on the hottest, most beautiful day of the year! we laughed at ourselves for going on such a lovely, summer day to see such a film, but we didn't care, even though we were the only ones in the entire cinema!
    The point is, it doesn't matter what the weather is like, as most days I'd rather be watching a film than doing anything else, rain or shine!

  • Comment number 8.

    I'm only recently getting into the world of cinema, and as such, I rarely visit the cinema; I'm catching up on all the good films I've missed by buying DVDs. However, on the odd occasion that I do go to the cinema, the weather doesn't even cross my mind, although I do find a strange sense of happiness in walking out of the cinema to find that it's night-time.

    This isn't a deciding factor as to whether I'll go to the cinema or not, but it's a strangely nice feeling, nonetheless.

  • Comment number 9.

    Ahh Dr. K, not even the rain can stop you!

    I sort of would say these days my cinema going experience isn't affected at all by the weather. For me, going to the cinema is a social thing - it's always done in the company of friends, and if one of us wants to go see a movie then we ALL go to see the movie. Rain or shine, it's the company you keep when going to a movie, rather than the movie itself. It also allows for a lively discussion on the ride back home as to whether we liked the film or not. The last one was W.E., which was not at all as one-sided a discussion as you might expect (although I maintain it was utterly hilarious for all the wrong reasons).

    Since we're all adults with varying degrees of life, this also allows us one night every month or two months to get together and catch up. I have been tempted to go to the movies alone a few times (and sometimes I did), but let's be fair here. I'm a disabled guy who uses a crutch to get around, with a bit of a gut and a stupid spiky vaguely goth haircut who wears black t-shirts to hide the slight bulge in my middle section as I rapidly approach my mid-life crisis.

    Even I'm aware that in that context I'd look like a right antisocial berk going to see a movie on my own. I'm not you, sir, much as it pains me to admit that. Rain or shine, it's the company I keep that ensures even the worst of films turn out to be a vaguely enjoyable day (or night) out.

    But I digress. Why would you base your movie night on the weather? Surely if you want to go see a film, you go and see a film? Unless of course the weather causes a power outage.

    Which we can only hope happens when the next Transformers movie arrives.

  • Comment number 10.

    I’ve trekked though heavy rain on several occasions just to go and see a film, mostly recently We Need to Talk About Kevin in November. I stepped into the cinema looking as though I just had a shower, I was soaked. Bear in mind it was a half hour trek, but it was worth it.

  • Comment number 11.

    Please note that the title is not We Need to Talk About Kevin in November....

  • Comment number 12.

    Always room for a sequel myerla. We need more Tilda Swinton!

    This has just reminded me it's been months since me and my friends went to see a movie, the last time I was sort of hung up in hospital annoyingly. I'm texting them right now, suggesting we go see "Seeking A Friend For The End of the World".

    Somehow, right now, that just feels like the right film...

  • Comment number 13.

    Mark, I love the cinema but I am not a diehard fan like you. I go to the cinema whenever there is a movie i want to watch, but the weather has a slight impact. If it is raining I generally go a bit more because it is a great escape and I can't do much else. But i do not mean this in a negative way, the oppodite. The cinema is a great companion when you are bored or can not do anything. When its raining I have a much higher chance of rewatching a film or watching one i have low expectations about. When the weather is good I still love the cinema but am not as devoted to it becsuse I do other stuff. But when it's raining it is a great feeling to escape the boredom and be widely entertained. Thank god for rain. If it never rained I wouldn't really watch movies I have low expectations about meaning that my viewing would be very limited and I would not get to enjoy many great films I never would have expected to be so good. But of course there are always great films and crap films regardless of the weather.

  • Comment number 14.

    At the end of May when there was a week of barmy sunshine, i saw 3 films Moorise Kingdom, The Raid and The Source and the largest attendance for any of them was five people including myself. Personally i would've much rather been in a nice cool cinema than outside in the blazing hot sun, a week later Prometheus opened, the weather sucked and it went to number 1.

    Althought The Dark Knight Rises opens Friday and we've all been waiting four years for this film, so regardless of of whether it's bright sunshine or a raging blizzard the cinemas will be packed.

  • Comment number 15.

    At first I would like to thank you Mark Kermode for giving me such a great time watching all your videos for the last three weeks. The first time I saw you was in "bravo's scariest movie moments" and I just recently found out that you got your own blog. Since then I'm genuinely admiring your stuff. You actually became a permanent part of my day-to-day recreation.

    Furthermore the answer to your contemporary question is simple. No it does not and it will never make any difference to those who love movies.

    Greetings form Heidelberg, Germany.

  • Comment number 16.

    I think the answer to this is very easy. Personally it doesn't matter one jot what the weather is like if i really want to see something, i'm a hardcore film fan and thus i'll go and see what i want when i want. For the casual film goer though, i think an individual's family situation has a lot to do with it, for instance, if its a very hot and sunny day the average couple with 2.4 children will probably opt to spend the day outside rather than being cooped up in a stuffy cinema. There have been hundreds of times i've been to see big summer blockbusters on the weekend at my local multiplex on a hot sunny day and the cinema has only been a third full to half full at best. Hardcore fans will go rain or shine but it's the casual filmgoer the analysts are talking about here.

  • Comment number 17.

    It makes no difference if, like me, you are a cineaste. I go to the cinema whenever a new film comes out that interests me.

    However the theory that industry analysts have put forward has a ring of truth to it. For example my father lived in Miami during the 70s, where it constantly rains and due to the horrid weather he saw a lot of the classic films of one of the greatest eras in American cinematic history.

    Twenty five years later he would introduce me to the films he saw whilst sheltering from the horrid tropical rain of Miami, which in turn led me to become a cineaste.

  • Comment number 18.

    I love cinema and have done for as long as I can remember. However, if the forecast is wrong, the weather has ended up being lovely after me and some friends expected showers, we would all much rather sit in the park and socialize. This involves sunshine, cider, and Mp3 player and a docking station, a disposable barbeque and lots of bloody animal flesh that we can cook on it. Beats a trip to the cinema any day.

    Does that make me less of a film fan? Nope.

  • Comment number 19.

    The weather only impacted on my cinema going once.
    I'd bought tickets in advance to see Avatar, but then it started to snow, and I didn't fancy driving in it.
    I have a feeling this may have been a merciful act of God.

  • Comment number 20.

    Yes and no. Speaking for myself, I don't care about the weather if I want to see a film in a theater ... but since I'd rather not go there alone, it helps if it's not a particularly sunny day because most of my friends don't want to sit in a theater in that case ...

  • Comment number 21.

    Less likely to go to the cinema during the height of summer, but this is less likely to be due to the weather and more being put off by the hordes of squealing children who can't shut up/sit still etc through the course of a film and thus ruin my enjoyment. Definitely need to enforce Dr K's rules of etiquette for cinemas...

  • Comment number 22.

    If the ten highest grossing films of all time were released in winter time, then I'd say yes, weather makes a difference; if not then I'd say no.

  • Comment number 23.

    I was in ICU for a month. It got really boring there and eventually I convinced some friends and family to take me to the cinema. I couldn't leave the ICU without two wheelchairs ( one for me and one for the equipment i needed) the pavement from the hospital to the cinema, two thirds of a mile a way was not very smooth and hurt my broken leg whenever I moved in the wheelchair. Above that it was painful whenever I moved suddenly at all. Taking a car or cab was out of the question as I had attempted it before and found it far too painful to do. it was stressful, painful and terrifying. Four years later I still don't regret it one bit.....a little sunshine wouldn't keep me away from the cinema.

    P.S I've made a full recovery.

  • Comment number 24.

    As a Scottish cine-enthusiast (who, like those above me, does not let the weather get in the way of a film) I have noticed that it may affect the general sun-deprived Scottish audience. During the strange mini-heatwave we had at the end of May, I was among the only person in my local arthouse seeing Moonrise Kingdom, and the ONLY person seeing Jeff Who Lives At Home. The cinema's beer garden however was full.

    However, I attended an almost packed EVENING screening of The Angels' Share in the same sunny week, so maybe a darkened room and a film at the end of a sunny day can be just the remedy for any impending sunburn.

    Then again, a Wes Anderson and a 'mumblecore' flick versus a well-advertised Scotland-based comedy? The sun may not have had everything to do with audience numbers after all.

  • Comment number 25.

    oh, and LSJShez the two highest grossing films ever were released in the winter (titanic and Avatar).

  • Comment number 26.

    My Mum has always been under the belief that if you intend to go to the cinema, you should always go on a rainy day because you should never waste good sunny weather as it may be a while for it to come back considering it is english weather.

    Well Seeing as I am die-hard film fan/critic with my own website, I take my own advice of going to see a film in any kind of weather because a new film always offers a new kind of experience.

    The point I am trying to make is that the whole way of watching films would collapse if we let the weather dictate when we should watch films because then there would be the chance that film fans would miss out on great films like Inception or smaller independent films which only have a week's run at the cinema. For example, when A Royal Affair was on at my local independent cinema, it was only there for a week and I didn't get a chance to see it.

    Forget the weather and just see the film because you could miss out. Enough Said!

  • Comment number 27.

    It is after all, as Mark suggests, whether or not you are a hardened film enthusiast. I can see how takings might take a dent if it is a really hot day, week etc. But most of us movie lovers will go to the cinema under any condition. In the words of that crazy chick in King of Comedy...Come Rain or Come Shine.

  • Comment number 28.

    Many years ago, during one wet and windy family camping holiday. My dad treat us all to an afternoon watching Bed Knobs & Broomsticks, the only time I can remember in my family history that I can remember us, as a family group, taking a trip down the celluloid highway. That event is now one of my fondest family memories - my dads booming laughter echoing around the theater and my first introduction to the world of cinema.

    That said - today the weather is not a consideration however the price charged for a screening is. As a result of cost of going to the cinema, I am much more selective of the films I see, opting for quality over quantity. I wonder how many people, who like me, would love to go to the cinema more often and take more chances with the films that we see, if there was a bit more moderation in the ticket price.

  • Comment number 29.

    I was in London two weeks ago and on the sunniest day, after a nice stroll through Greenwich Park, I went to see The Amazing Spiderman at Greenwich Picture House. Glad I did, even though the rest of the week's weather was as wet as, well, wet.

  • Comment number 30.

    It's rainy season here in South Korea, and your post today seems rather apt as I'm looking forward to some respite from the typhoon conditions when the Dark Knight is released.

    Having worked in numerous cinemas before I can say that hot weather seems to deter the average daytime cinema goer, instead they appear in the evening in droves.

    I personally don't let the weather decide if I see a film or not. There's usually something I'm dying to see whatever the weather.

    That said, in Busan they've recently developed this architectural monstrosity, creatively titled "The Busan Cinema Centre". Costing over $150 million and having just as many empty seats inside, It shows old movies on ridiculously large screens for next to nothing. I'm already using it to escape Korea's temperamental weather patterns, whether it be the extreme cold or humidity. I miss the individuality of some of the UK's smaller cinemas though, and it's one of the first things I plan to do when I arrive home.

  • Comment number 31.

    I don't know as it's the weather that effects my cinema habits so much as the level of daylight. While most of my friends would happily sit in a multiplex on a glorious day, I would simply feel like I'm missing the sunshine and would much rather be outside. I think this is because cinema is a form of escapism and there's something about leaving a dark room having watched a brilliant film only to enter a sunny, ugly car park in Kent that jolts me out of the film world in a way that walking walking into the same car park light by street lamps doesn't (in-fact after seeing a Michael Mann film, this is sometimes an uncanny place to encounter straight after leaving the screening). However, I don't think this pickiness makes me any less of a film fan as I could think of no better way to round off a day in the sun than a late night cinema screening...

  • Comment number 32.

    In fact this leads me onto my own personal tale. November, 1998! Freezing conditions with snow pelting down much later that evening. Carnival night in the town of Weston Super Mare, thousands upon thousands of people littering the streets ready for the big extravaganza. So what do my friend and I decide to attend instead...Yep, the opening night of Blade. We were the only 2 people in the cinema let alone that screen, in fact the staff were thinking of closing early as we arrived through the crowds. I smoked at the time and accidentally burnt some poor blokes jacket on barging through to get to the cinema doors.
    We were panting, frozen solid and had an annoyed chap after us with a smoking hole in his coat... but it was worth it, to go against the grain and watch Snipes bash up some vampires.

  • Comment number 33.

    I agree with Mark; I believe it doesn't matter what the weather is when it comes to theatrical releases. However, I would argue that when it comes to the small screen (DVDs, streaming), weather plays a key role in film selection. For example, I much prefer to watch horror films on rainy/snowy/cloudy nights because of the atmosphere and mood it generates. (And because most films in said genre are literally darker and harder to watch when it's bright out.)
    -Safi, The Cinephile Magazine Podcast

  • Comment number 34.

    I've experienced it both ways.

    I've worked in a multiplex, and now I work at an arthouse cinema. Lately we've been seeing a dip in numbers with the insane torrential rain. A few regulars have been braving the weather, but nothing much above 12 people in any screening. And in the multiplex the super sunny days were the most quiet unless it was a big blockbuster opening weekend, which had the upside of staff members getting sent home early (meaning we got to enjoy the sun as well).

    Summer is the quiet time for the arthouse cinema I work at, we've even been screening some of the bigger films like Prometheus and we'll have Batman later this week. But then come Oscar season we'll be really busy with everyone wanting to be "in" on the latest awards darling.
    However some people have been saying they'll come to us for the blockbusters rather than the Odeon round the corner, simply because they'll get a more respectful audience and a low chance of people stupid enough to think that a film being 12a means it's okay to take a 5 year old in. So there are some advantages to smaller cinemas in the summer months.

  • Comment number 35.

    Highly anticipated films like Prometheus or The Dark Knight Rises go on sale weeks before release - I booked my tickets for the latter at the IMAX when they went on sale about six weeks ago. Obviously nobody knows what the weather will be like in six weeks time, nor do they care when they're as eager as they are to see that particular film.

    For me it matters not a bit, if there's a film I want to see I'll see it. Then again, I never really was one for spending time outside in the sunshine.

  • Comment number 36.

    Nope, the weather doesn't affect my decision to see a film in the slightest. If there's a film I'm excited about I'll go and watch it.

    As for the industry thinking our answer should be "yes", this is the same industry that has resulted in films like 'Tyrannosaur' being shown only once or twice at half eleven at night on a Monday; while several other screens are simultaneously devoted to showings of 'John Carter of Bland' and the like every half-hour thinking that's what we all want.

  • Comment number 37.

    I don't know about the weather but last week me and a friend went to the pub with a rough plan to go see The Amazing Spiderman but due to poor connection to his iphone we couldn't find the times of the showing. Yes it did rain but in the end we just kept on drinking and forgot all about the film.

  • Comment number 38.

    Having worked at a cinema for a brief period last year I have to say that despite attendance figures generally remaining the same, the different weather did certainly affect the types of audience coming to the cinema. When it was raining you could guarantee that the big blockbuster fare would pack out whereas when it was sunny the smaller films tended to get a lot busier. This rings true for me as well. In general I don't care too much however if it's an instance where I'm going to the cinema alone I usually end up staying in and giving it a miss if I have to walk to catch a bus in heaving rain so long as I know I can catch it another day.

  • Comment number 39.

    Hehe, you got to laugh seeing that footage of "festival deluge" dampening the spirits. The number of times I've overheard people consider the cinema option as a reaction to bad weather, "There MUST be something on?!" in the UK. Also tend to find US of A folk commentating on leaving the fridge/freezer door open; buying up all the ice-lollies at the local gas station; so perhaps air-con in hot weather is more relevant over there?

    Personally, I like to watch a movie towards the end of the day and take the story to bed with me. Time feels out of joint during the middle of the day, although of it's a small window of opportunity I'll gladly cave in and watch the movie anyway. But hot weather in the parks with friends and the buzz of all that interaction is too good to miss out on in the fickle UK climate. Followed by a sultry evening ending the day at the cinema watching a film = just about perfect to wind down with. Although saving a film for a rainy day is also a good move in my book.

  • Comment number 40.

    Sun: Living in Scotland means that any sunny day is reserved exclusively for drinking cider in the park so chances of going to the cinema are very slim.

    Rain: If i was already out and had nothing the do when it started pouring down, my first thought would be the cinema. If i wasnt already out and had already planned to see a film when it started to pour down, i'd still go.

  • Comment number 41.

    My immediate gut reaction was: the weather doesn't matter; if I want to see a film then I'll see it. In fact, I've always found a couple of hours spent in a cool, air-conditioned cinema on a hot summer day an enjoyable respite from the outdoor heat. However, on reflection, I have to concede that if the weather is fine then I am more likely to be engaged in 'outdoorsy' activities that could preclude me from going to the cinema.
    Perhaps where you live is important? Maybe if you live in a big city then the weather is less important than if you live in a more rural area or near the coast? I lived in Manchester and regularly attended Cornerhouse, whatever the weather. I now live outside of a major city and have to admit that it would feel strange attending the cinema on a hot summer day. Yet I do class myself as a cineaste, and ultimately if I want to see a film then I will see it - the weather might, on rare occasions, determine WHEN I see it, but not IF I see it.

  • Comment number 42.

    I can only recall one occasion when I went to the cinema to get out of the rain. I went to see 'Twilight' (the first one). In retrospect a soaking and cold/flu/pneumonia would have been more desirable.

  • Comment number 43.

    The way I see it, both the good doctor and the marketing people are right, depending on how much you like cinema. I think most people who are just casual fans of cinema, a.k.a the general public, will go depending on the weather, whereas the hardcore cinephiles like the
    Kermode Uncut fan base, will go regardless as we're more keen to analyse and explore cinema, whereas those with only a passing interest just go for entertainment value.

  • Comment number 44.

    Probably rather predictably. It will depend on the viewing habits of the individual. It will almost never affect those with firm opinions: cineastes will always go and those who hate the cinema experience won't. The biggest variation, I suspect and it's already hinted at, are those who are "fair weather fans" (or is it bad weather?!) and have a firm opinion on which film they want. There are probably other reasons as well.

  • Comment number 45.

    The missus and I make plans to see a film far in advance. We decide if we are going to watch it, becuase it's something we think we will enjoy, the weather has nothing to do with when we go and see it.

    If a film was to come out on the sunnest and most perfect weather week in all of history, we would still go and see the film we decided to watch beforehand.

  • Comment number 46.

    In countries in Southeast Asia like Singapore, air-conditioning in cinemas is so oppressively cold that people take blankets to cinemas to stay warm and survive watching the film. Longer screenings like the Lord of the Rings films was a torture to sit through and I found it hard to concentrate on the film. That and mobile phones going off!

    So in those cases, I'd say that it is the 'weather' or the climate that forces people OUT of cinemas!

    As for me, I'm not bothered by the weather if there's a film I want to catch. :)

  • Comment number 47.

    I can't drive so I have to walk to my local cinema [it's about a half hour walk] so if it is chucking it down and i'm not very excited about the film i'll leave it for another day when the weather will be better.

  • Comment number 48.

    Nope, the Industry has it wrong as usual. In the old blockbuster days of Jaws, Close Encounters, Star Wars, Die Hard, yes we went because it was hot out. Central air conditioned malls had their allure, but that's because the mall multiplex was our version of a media library. 4, 6, 8 movies under a roof - go to the mall, cool off and then decide what to watch.

    Now we have far more distraction here at home - DVD and BluRay libraries, downloadable media, entire series box-sets, and to top it off…100+ channels of TV. Who needs to leave the house? And it's a recession too - movie theaters are far too expensive now…heck, I can buy a years's Doctor Who for the price of 2 movie tickets and a large popcorn.

    Between too much choice at home and a wallet-hostile cinema experience, tell me - why *should* I leave the house, even on a nice day?

  • Comment number 49.

    The only time this factors for me is when it is A) very hot (not a common occurrence in Edinburgh and B) I fancy catching a mainstream film. I find that on these occasions said Odeon is always deserted so I can watch the film without risk of noisy eating, canoodling or other code of conduct breaches.

  • Comment number 50.

    The weather doesn't make any difference to me, but i only go if it's to see something that i really can't miss seeing on a big screen.

    I mostly just try to avoid the peak people times.

  • Comment number 51.

    Oh my Mothers words still haunt me, "You're not staying cooped up in here all day watching films! Its a lovely day, go and make the most of this good weather!"

    I'd much rather bask in the sunshine captured by David Lean in Arabia...

  • Comment number 52.

    The weather doesn't affect me. If there's a film I want to see I will go and see it especially if it's a film I've never seen on a big screen. For example, 4 years ago the Phoenix Cinema in Leicester was showing Lawrence of Arabia for 1 Sunday in July. I'd already bought and watched it on DVD but I wanted to see it on a big screen and it was one of the best and most enjoyable films I've seen in the cinema.

  • Comment number 53.

    I have to admit that I have actually gone into the cinema to watch a film solely because it was raining very heavily outside and I had a few hours to spare. That said, of the hundreds of films I've seen in the cinema, that scenario would account for only one or two of them. Those moments were a whim, normally I'd just hide in a bookshop if the weather was bad and go to the cinema whatever the weather if there was a film I wanted to see.

  • Comment number 54.

    Doesn't matter to me, I'm a huge film fan and love going to the cinema.
    I'd go in a heat wave.
    Much prefer sitting in a cinema watching a film than sitting outside doing nothing.

  • Comment number 55.

    I always plan to go to the cinema in advance but hope that the weather will be bad when I go, so that I have an excuse to go and am accused of be lazy when the sun is out.

  • Comment number 56.

    Of course most people logging on to this blog don't give a damn what the weather's doing when they're deciding whether or not to go to the cinema, but you are preaching to the converted here Mr Kermode. I would think that, for a lot of people, going to the cinema is something they do on a whim (unless it's some kind of event movie), and that the weather is just one of a myriad of factors, unrelated to the movie itself, which will impact on their decision to go to the cinema or not. Time for you to get out amongst the great unwashed and do some proper research into cinema going habits. Isn't that the kind of thing somebody with a PhD should be up to?

  • Comment number 57.

    It doesn't matter to me what the weather is doing, but it might mean I'll be going on my own (if the chosen film partner decides that it 'seems a shame to sit in a darkened room'). Although, having said that, my more honest answer would be that if it's lovely weather I'll go to a late showing so I can have my cinematic cake and eat it too.

  • Comment number 58.

    I said ten.

  • Comment number 59.

    Having lived in the UK and lived in hot parts the US I can tell you that in the UK I never timed my cinema visits by the weather. BUT when I lived in Sacramento in California it gets unbearably hot during the summer and I have definitely gone to the movies to avoid using my own air conditioning. But the important distinction here is that I was going to see those movies anyway but the weather only changed the time I would go which (with matinee pricing) is actually bad for the cinema itself.

    Also isn't the summer blockbuster really to do with Kids being out of school?

  • Comment number 60.

    As you might guess, Mark, I live in Oklahoma, and if a CGI-sized tornado rips my local multiplex off its foundation and carries it away, I will use the Wicked Witch's bicycle to get there! That's how badly I want to see "The Dark Knight Rises" this weekend.

    Here's hoping it's worth the effort.

    Adios and cheerio.

  • Comment number 61.

    If there's a film I really want to see it doesn't matter what the weather is. The only thing that matters to me between a film and weather is whether or not to take an umbrella during the trip to the cinema.

  • Comment number 62.

    I have to say, yes. Especially in a summer such as this where sunshine is often lacking. I love the cinema, but feel a bit guilty if the first sunny day in months comes along and I'm sat in the dark. Although, happily I am rarely presented with this ultimatum as a) it's normally raining, and b) I usually go to the cinema in the evening when the heat/sun is a non-issue.

  • Comment number 63.

    One simple answer Dr. Mark, no, the weather has never been a factor that made me decide to go to the cinema or not. If there is a movie that I am itching to see, I will do so, no matter if it is raining, snowing, sunny or if a hurricane decides to lift the cinema into the sky with me in it.

  • Comment number 64.

    if it's sunny, I'll go to get out of the heat.

  • Comment number 65.

    wat the hell!! forget the weather!! if there are rainbows with pots of gold at the end of it and the sun is smiling just for me...IM STILL GOING TO SEE THE DARK KNIGHT RISES!!!

  • Comment number 66.

    I've booked tickets to see The Dark Knight Rises and I won't be missing it unless it starts hailing fire. I'm sure that the majority of people that comment on this blog are real cinema-enthusiasts and unfortunately aren't the sort of people that distributors are too worried about when it comes to viewing figures. When we're talking about something like Transformers then I wouldn't be able to say whether the weather will affect anything, but I do know that I wouldn't waste a beautiful sunny day sitting in a dark room watching it - I'll waste it at home in a dark room watching 2001.

  • Comment number 67.

    Hi Mark, no it doesnt matter a damn to me if its raining or sunny, i love movies more than anything and i love to attend the cinema as often as i can. I live in Ireland so you can imagine our weather isnt much different to yours in London anway.

    On the off chance that you get to read this Mark, may i also ask your opinion on people who go to see films alone. None of my friends seem to like movies as much as i do and it is there opinion (and judging by a lot of opinions i read online) and a lot of people's opinion that only saddos going to the cinema alone. This attitude annoys the hell out of me and demostrates peoples insecurities socially, what are your views on this? I go to see films on my own quite a lot and i enjoy it.

  • Comment number 68.

    To have your life dictated to by the weather is balls - we live in Britain for God's always rains etc.. As you say, Mark, a true film fan shouldn't give a toss what mother nature is up to - it's not as if there's no roof on a cinema!

  • Comment number 69.

    Absolutely no. It makes no difference to me. If I want to see a movie (especially a movie I've been looking forward to) then not even mother nature can stop me.

  • Comment number 70.

    I have to say it does make a difference to me, but it all depends on whether or not I have pre-booked. If I have, then I'll go to the movies regardless. If not, and the sun is splitting the heavens (OK, this is Britain so likely as not it'll be hoiking it down with rain) then I would rather be out and about and make the most of it. There are always evening or late night showings after all!

  • Comment number 71.

    Te weather has no influence on my cinema habits.
    I usually book my tickets in advance, anyway. Have to, to get IMAX tickets for Dark Knight Rises...

  • Comment number 72.

    Hmmmmmm, despite your belief that those who post on your blog are massive cinema-goers, I must confess I am not. I love all sorts of movies but generally I watch them on dvd; at the cinema, I will only go see movies that I REALLY want to see. I tend to only go to the cinema during the summer and October, the rest of the year tends to be a mystery to me. In short, the weather does not affect my cinema going, because if I really want to see a film, I will go and see it. If I am disinterested at watching the movie in the cinema, I will watch it later on in the year on DVD instead.

  • Comment number 73.

    No. But....

    If I'm going to the cinema on my own, then weather is not a factor, although it might determine when I go (sun shining, walk dogs first).

    21 years ago I gave my heart to a woman who does not share my all encompassing obsession with films. She has good, but narrower tastes than mine in cinema, and does feel strongly about movies she loves and hates, but for the most part can take or leave seeing most of what's out there. I do enjoy taking her to films that she might enjoy. It is more likely that I will be able to suggest we go to a daytime showing, or even visiting the cinema more than once in a weekend if it is raining.

    So obviously Mark, "the industry" was including mainstream movie goers like my wife, and you were talking about the smaller set of movie devotees, so your question is largely spurious.

    That said, I love the sensation, when you've seen a particularly good film during the day, exiting the theatre blinking into broad daylight...
    .... it's like entering the world again, anew.

  • Comment number 74.

    As some have pointed out, to us cinephiles, of course it won't matter, film is a hobby or a passion for us, but the vast majority of the audiences, or at least those that generate blockbuster numbers, aren't cinephiles.

    As a kid I used to spend hours trying to convince my family to go to the movies, but they didn't want to because it was sunny outside and they felt they didn't want to spend the day in a dark room. I guess may others here had this experience, and many other people out there will take my family's side.

    So my answer is that I agree with both sides. Do cinephiles let the weather affect their filmgoing experience? No, at least not greatly. Do the general audiences care? Yeah, they kind of do.

  • Comment number 75.

    If it's a film I want to see no weather will stop me.

    If it's a film I'm ambivalent about and it's raining then I may stay my cinema trip...

    However there has never been a case of it being too sunny for me to go to the cinema.

  • Comment number 76.

    Oh, and Kudos Mark for sticking it out at Larmer Tree. A friend of my wife had planned to take their family, but fearful of losing the caravan in the mire pulled out of the muck the first day and didn't go back.

    And thanks for popping out to do your bit at the Hansel of Film at Harbour Lights. It was great and reminded me of just how many short films are amongst my favourites (although I've got that Be Creative! song earworming my brain just now). I've fallen in a pond, too, although it was whilst doing nature conservation volunteering, not curating a music fest film club.

  • Comment number 77.

    My honest opinion, the weather will not make a difference. If there's a blockbuster coming out wether it sunny or raining, people will go and see. The only problem if a two blockbusters clashed on the same week. Take Jurassic Park and The Last Action Hero both came out the same weekend and The Last Action Hero flopped. That's the only problem.

    British film usually are successful after January like Trainspotting and Shallow Grave but usually in competition with big films.

  • Comment number 78.

    The weather means nothing to me, nothing will stop me seeing the movie I want to see, when I want to see it.

    Also I'd crawl through hot lava (with my flies unzipped/buttoned) to see a big screen showing of Akira :-D.

  • Comment number 79.

    Speaking as an ex-cinema worker we had an very hot summer and our air conditioning had broken. At the time The Matrix was the big film leading on into Star Wars. We had only one customer for 2 weeks and he walked out after 20 minutes. Of course rain 'brings 'em in', but if it's tortuous even the most ardent cinema goer draws the line.

  • Comment number 80.

    It depends on how bad the weather is, and how good the movie is. If it's a movie I really, really want to see, I'll go out whatever the weather. But if it's a movie I'm so-so about, and the weather's lousy, I'd rather stay in with a DVD.

  • Comment number 81.

    I am not affected at all about the weather if there is a film I want to see, I'm actually quite relieved if it is raining on a summer's day if there is something I want to see so then I can bring more people with me!

  • Comment number 82.

    Nope, not for a second. If there is a film on I want to see and it is playing locally enough for me to get there, a little rain or a hot day isn't going to stop me for a second.

    The average-everyday folks with kids? For them it might be a different story, but then again a trip to the cinema is probably already a compromised affair already... Seeing whatever the least agreeable family member wants to see at the time those who work long hours can manage.

  • Comment number 83.

    I often go to the cinema because I'm bored, not to see anything in particular, I just wonder in to see if theres anything starting soon. And when the weather's bad its nice to be out the rain no matter what I'm watching. Then again if the weather's nice and I'm bored; there's nothing in particular I want to see at the cinema, I will probably chose to enjoy the sunshine and stay outdoors.

    Yet if there is something I really want to see, nothing (weather included) will stop me from seeing it. Friday could be the hottest day of the year (though its unlikely), I'll still be going to see The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX and (hopefully) loving every minute of it!

  • Comment number 84.

    The short answer is no. Rain or shine if I want to see it I'll go. Sometimes works to your advantage. If everyone is enjoying their day outside I've got the theatre to myself.

  • Comment number 85.

    To the people, like myself, who only care about seeing the film, of course it dosen't matter. I don't particularly enjoy sitting in a cinema soking wet because i walked there in the rain, but if it's a film i want to see i'll risk it.

  • Comment number 86.

    I don't care if it's blazing sunshine or pouring rain, the cinema will always draw me in. I remember when Jaws was released that was back in the day when we actually had summers!! (Remember those??) I queued round the block to get in, sat enthralled, came out into blazing sunshine and joined the queue again and back in I went, and still jumped off the seat when that head popped out of the boat's hull ! Happy Days.

  • Comment number 87.

    Dear Mark,

    THANKS for wiping the floor with my doubts about myself being a cineaste.

    I spent five month living in Honolulu, Hawaii. I never made it to try to surf even ones (although I am a sporty), but I enjoyed several movies at the Hawaiian International Film Fest (@HIFF) - under those SENNA, which I wrote about at HIFF's website. I also spent time on other occasions in the Regal Theatres and Consolidated Theatres - and though it was nice outside, I quite enjoyed myself sitting there and watching a movie.


  • Comment number 88.

    Of cause I am Hard Core,like the song in School of Rock.I remember the 70`s coming out of the The Odean in Horden, after seeing Willy Wonka, StarWars, Close Encounters,I was always blinded by the light.Sunshine didnt keep me away even then.

  • Comment number 89.

    If there's a film I want to watch, then I'll watch it, but the weather may well affect my choice of day. For example, it's rained so much recently that it was a joy to be able to sit outside in the sun today and it gave us a chance to discuss what to see next week. So it doesn't affect the number of films seen, but certainly moves them about a bit.

  • Comment number 90.

    I'm with myerla (#10) here-

    Unless one lives in the cinema, then uncomfortable weather, if anything, will deter them from abandoning the shelter of their house, making their way through the pouring rain/scorching sun of the highway, to the shelter of the movie theatre.

    So I'm skeptical that 'the industry's theory' applied, in its stated form, to anyone, ever.

  • Comment number 91.

    A couple of month's ago when The Raid came out. Me and my friend decided, on the hottest day of the year (so far), to go to the cinema to see it. While people were outside, sat outside pubs, in the sun, drinking a nice cold beer, we were inside watching possibly the greatest martial arts films in the past decade.

    I know where I would rather have been. And it meant reading subtitles...

  • Comment number 92.

    Yeah. no, don't consider the weather when I go and see a film. If I wanna go see a film, I go. On the rare occasions that I go during the daytime, it's always blistering sunshine anyway, so I've stopped caring.

  • Comment number 93.

    I use the inverse rule and watch a film when there is good weather to try and avoid busy cinemas. So this year I haven't seen much of either...

    The only exception would be if there was 'A Perfect Storm' at the cinema then I would stay at home where its usually 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs'.

  • Comment number 94.

    Makes no difference to me what the weather's like. If I want to see the movie whenever it is screened, I'll see it. Nothing keeps me from the movies. One of my favourite places, is a quiet, dark cinema. Maybe I should just find myself a cave and settle in with a screen and a projector.

  • Comment number 95.

    Sun and rain don't make a difference to me, but I live in Canada. In winter the temperature drops to minus 30 centigrade and I might have to shovel 3 feet of snow from around my car to get it out. I don't care if Woody Allen is hand-cranking the projector himself on his latest film, I won't be sitting in the audience! Maybe I don't yet qualify as a cineaste.

  • Comment number 96.

    None whatsoever.

  • Comment number 97.

    Even thought the weather in London has been a mixed bag for me, it didn't affect my cinema going. If it was pouring cats and dogs the other day, I still would have gone to see "seeking a friend for the end of the world", and if the weather gets worse than that, I'm still going to see "The Dark Knight Rises" on Friday. I'm a a student of Cinema for the rest of my life, and nothing is going to affect my desire to see a film in theatres.

  • Comment number 98.

    If I were a rich man (in the voice of Topol), da ba da ba dabba dabba daa... If I were a rich man, I'd have a car and/or probably also live a bit closer to the cinema. In either case, I'd care less about what the weather is like because I'd experience less of it between home and the cinema. However, I'm not, so if it's raining then I'll get wet on the way there and probably on the way back too.

    I'd rather not sit in the cinema in wet clothes, so actually the weather does matter to me.

  • Comment number 99.

    None whatsoever.

    The snow didn't even prevent me from seeing Unbreakable.

  • Comment number 100.

    The Good Doctor,

    Being a film buff the weather will play no part in me deciding to go to a film or not. However, the only affect the weather does have, that I have noticed, is it can affect the genre and mood of a film that I watch on occasion.

    If it is a bright sunny day I'm more likely, sometimes, to for a comedy or light hearted silly piece of nonsense. Where as if the day is gloomy and dark I'm sometimes more inclined and in the mood for a drama or epic.


Page 1 of 3

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.