Orange Wednesdays saves Cinema?

I’ve been going to the cinema quite a lot recently, further proving that file sharers are truly film lovers an will pay for convenience and the film industry should consider this. So far I’ve been to the cinema 4 times in the last 2 weeks. I even bought Empire magazine while waiting in Manchester Hospital for my physical therapy session

Anyway, I went to the cinema today and it was packed. Compare this to Tuesday and even Thursday last week, where it was very quiet.

It got me thinking about the effect of Orange Wednesday.

It seems a lot of people are waiting to Wednesday to go to the cinema which makes sense with it being two for one.

Obviously it was setup with the major cinema chains because Wednesday is officially the last day of the cinema week, so anything to get people in on the last day makes a lot of sense. The weird thing is that a phone company would do this, specially with everything the cinema chains have tried to get people in. Everything they have tried from offering one pound tickets on cinema day to playing computer games on the massive screens.

Orange Wednesdays certainly nets the cinemas a huge amount of money and I wonder how they compare to Saturdays and even Sundays. There’s little secret that the cinemas make almost all there money on Food and drink, the money for films actually mainly go back to the distributor and studio depending on the popularity of the film. Something like 4,3,2,1 which I saw on Monday will typically take all the box office money in the first 2-3 weeks. Something like the dark knight or even avatar will have a longer period set on its return. Maybe even up to 8 or even 10 weeks for a high ranking blockbuster. Which means cinema usually try and hold a film as long as they can or have many theatres as possible (hence things like the 16 screen AMC multiplex in Manchester, my local cinema). Obviously on the flip side they also try and get rid of the films that don’t do so well for them too, quickly.

You could say Orange Wednesdays was a early Four Square or Gowall type system, its just a shame the cinemas are only just catching on to the potential of loyalty schemes. How good would it have been if you could have a home cinema and got points or even prizes if you visited others? Heck they could have bluetooth access points in the box office area where they could do a whole bunch of things.

Orange Wednesday is a very clever concept, and if you look beyond the silly ads you might find its the saver of modern cinema.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.