The Seat of Bob Parr's Pants 2: Intuition, Programming and Local Cinema Audiences

Richard Maltby, Dylan Walker , Mike Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This is the second of two articles examining relationships of exhibition through a study of Wallis Cinemas, a privately-owned cinema circuit in Adelaide. Both articles explore questions about the ways in which small multiplex exhibitors structure their businesses and the nature of their interactions with distributors and localised audiences. Having considered in the first article whether variations in the box-office performance of films in the different multiplexes can be related to the films’ genre and censorship classification, this article consider the ways in which these variations might be linked to differences in the composition of the potential audience. We investigate the composition and cinemagoing practices of the audiences for Wallis’ four multiplexes firstly through a demographic study of each venue’s catchment area, and then through the analysis of a survey conducted in each venue over a two-week period. We conclude that cinemas have heterogeneous audiences, with overlapping and at times mutually exclusive tastes. Choosing where they see films predominantly on the basis of location and other spatial considerations, these audiencegroupscycle through a cinema on an approximately monthly basis, and successful programming, which remains a substantially intuitive process, has to accommodate these patterns of attendance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-106
Number of pages17
JournalParticipations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • film exhibition
  • multiplex
  • programming
  • cinema audiences
  • audience preferences


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