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Karen Stacey 

Football kick-started 2021’s unifying cultural moments – Bond plans to keep them here

Football kick-started 2021’s unifying cultural moments – Bond plans to keep them here

DCM has hit a key audience milestone on the eve of cinemas returning to maximum capacity, reveals the cinema advertising company's CEO

Even after England’s heart-breaking defeat to Italy in the final, the team continues to capture the nation. The unacceptable racist abuse witnessed by three young players - Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka – has sparked widespread outrage and been condemned by every sensible person in society.

England’s team continues to play a unifying role for the nation’s fight against inequality and discrimination, connecting people to inspire change. Despite football not coming home just yet, the tournament raised the country’s morale when we needed it the most.

Over the last four weeks, people flocked to Wembley, pubs, cinema screens and friends’ living rooms to watch the tournament. Not only did the Final attract the largest TV audience since 1997 but, as stated by ITV, England’s victory over Denmark was the most watched football match ever shown on one channel. Advertisers have been taking advantage of increased audience figures, which in turn has been fuelling the UK ad market.

And, after 18 months in the dark, cinema has also been making a resurgence and this week DCM hit its own huge milestone.

Accurate point-of-sale data delivered across our estate in real-time from exhibitors including Odeon, Cineworld, Vue, Picturehouse and Curzon showed us that our audience numbers surpassed 10.5 million admissions since reopening on 17 March. Considering current social distancing restrictions, these figures week-on-week are almost at pre-pandemic levels.

Black Widow was released in cinemas last Wednesday and, despite the clash with the football, the film exceeded expectations to deliver almost 250,000 DCM admissions in just two days. After the weekend it has become the biggest box office opening in the pandemic era, opening with £6.8m.

Fast & Furious 9 has also been driving the cinema sectors revival, becoming the first pandemic release to surpass $500m globally last week.

And, in just two months, the new Bond film No Time To Die is expected to deliver huge numbers: it is forecast to deliver 17 ABC1 Adults TVRs (17% of the total audience) and 21 ABC1 Men TVRs.

Even before the trailer dropped for Daniel Craig’s much-anticipated final outing as Bond, the demand from advertisers looking to book into the film has been high.

Bond is a cultural phenomenon and presents a huge commercial opportunity - in my eyes it is one of the biggest AV opportunities of the year. We’re seeing a record number of forward bookings, with brands getting behind this next British milestone. All premium spots are already sold out, with a range of brands taking advantage of the most prestigious positions in cinema advertising. The categories boosting cinema’s most ionic property include Telecoms, Finance, Food, Drink and Entertainment & Leisure.

The film slate for the rest of the year and into 2022 is remarkable and there are a whole range of big cultural moments for brands to align with and engage the diverse cinemagoing audience. Upcoming big blockbusters that are particularly strong for the hard-to-reach 16-34 audience include Candyman, Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (pictured, above) , Top Gun: Maverick, The Eternals, The Suicide Squad and Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

As we hurtle towards “Freedom Day” on 19 July and cinemas being able to return to maximum capacity, we’re looking forward to the cinema medium stepping it another gear and getting back to full speed.

Football kick-started 2021’s unifying cultural moments, but Bond plans to keep them here. I say Gareth Southgate for the next Bond – who’s with me?

Digital Cinema Media supplies cinema advertising for its joint owners Odeon and Cineworld as well as Curzon, Vue, Picturehouse and independents

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