4:33 PM July 3, 2022
Youngsters dressed in formal wear to attend a cinema and watch the latest instalment of the Despicable Me franchise might sound like harmless fun – but for cinema owners, it could spell disaster.
The latest Tik-Tok social media sensation is the trend of turning up to their local cinema in their best suits to enjoy the latest release from Universal, Minions: The Rise of Gru – a prequel telling the story of the titular character’s super villain origins.
Across the popular online platform, videos of people turning up to the screenings in formal wear have gone viral – and of course, the need to capture these moments for their videos is paramount.
However, it appears some have taken to recording footage of the film, a breach of copyright laws, and something which could fall at the feet of cinema managers.
At Fakenham’s Central Cinema, Andy Lawson, manager of the picture house, was experiencing similar things across the opening weekend from July 1 to 3 – with boys in suits, and audiences greeting the film’s credits with thunderous applause.
This same weekend, Mr Lawson had received warning from the Cinema Association that Universal was warning cinemas of the heightened risk they were seeing around the film – and even the possibility that a video capturing footage of the film was posted with the geo-location of North Norfolk.
“The problem is, perhaps this generation does not understand the issues around copyright and we had word from the Cinema Association warning about possible leaks,” he said.
“We could face potential business closing issues.”
Mr Lawson addressed cinema goers this weekend about the potential risk a Tik-Tok could cause, including a loss of his licence if found in breach of FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft).
The manager said he and his staff are watching current sold-out screenings like a hawk to prevent issues – as they carry out screen checks on all their showings.
“It will just be a flash in the pan, we thought it was strange when people started turning up in suits, but we love having this buzz back in the building,” Mr Lawson added.
“We will stay vigilant to avoid any issues, as we are closer than ever to recovering to where we were pre-pandemic.”