Energy has always been a major cost item for cinemas, but after this year's price hike, heating and electricity bills could take almost all of the revenue, according to Budapest Film Plc., which operates Corvin and five other art cinemas in Budapest.
In 2021, the company will spend nearly HUF 47 million on electricity and gas, 9% of its budget. This year, the company would have to pay roughly ten times more for energy, which means that less than a tenth of the money left in the box offices and cafeteria will be left after paying the gas and electricity bill, according to the G7 economic portal.
This is only because Budapest Film Plc. has a contract with the suppliers until the end of the year at a more favorable price. After that, however, the energy costs may take away the entire ticket revenue, according to the calculations of the company's manager, given the price level of the past weeks, said Tamás Liszka, CEO.
According to Dániel Tóth, an expert of this sector, the biggest problem could be for municipal facilities.
These institutions have so far been able to rely on financial support from the municipality in addition to their ticket and buffet revenues, but this may not be enough this time either, especially as the municipalities are also facing a serious problem with the rising energy prices. In Szombathely, it was decided weeks ago to close the local cinema in order to save energy.
Dániel Tóth says that multiplexes in shopping centers are probably in a better position in that the shopping centers hosting the cinema have tied energy service contracts, but it is not known how much of this would be passed on to tenants. Many fear a complete closure because it is likely to be very difficult to attract audiences back once the cinema reopens. Cinema-goers have already experienced this during the epidemic: domestic attendance has not even returned to pre-plague levels by the summer of 2022. Partly for this reason, a price increase is not a realistic scenario either, as it will certainly not be possible to pass on the increased costs in full, as this would lead to a further drop in attendance.
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