Hellllo Polly!!!!! This should wake up the nailed-to-its-perch Norwegian Blue–the in-theatre presentation of Monty Python’s final shows at London’s O2 Arena brought in 300,000 viewers worldwide in over 50 countries. The overall gross for the performances was a stunning $6.58 million. 100,000 of those moviegoers came from North America, as the group is almost as popular here as they are in their native England.
The gross continues to highlight the sky’s-the-limit potential of Event Cinema. We have seen impressive numbers from events such as the season premieres for the last two “Doctor Who” seasons and back in July violinist Andre Rieu’s 10th Annual Maastricht Concert became the highest grossing musical event ever in the UK. The presentation scored over $2 million throughout the UK and Europe and comes to these shores on October 4th. This should be another event cinema presentation that will stun those of us in the industry who may not see this success coming. But it’s this kind of event that is so important to the future of Alternative Content. It is entertainment for a small, niche audience that will find their way to their local multiplexes if it’s an event they are passionate about. The “Doctor Who” audience in the States isn’t huge but they are rabid and they will show up in theatres to be with other Whovians and watch the rather silly 15 minute pre and post show banter from host Chris Hardwick. The same goes for The Met Opera, which has been the longest running and most successful franchise that we’ve seen in Event Cinema. Just look at the quantity and quality of upcoming events and you’ll see the impact of the format on exhibitors’ bottom lines. It isn’t huge, at least not yet, but if Alternative Content keeps growing at this pace it will be a windfall for all involved.