CineEurope Continues to Grow

In Focus

Globalization is the process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale. The increasingly global nature of the movie business is readily evident in the ongoing consolidation of many of the largest circuits around the world. A quick glance shows that over the past five years, companies like Wanda (AMC), CJ CGV, Cinemark, Vue, CineWorld Cinépolis, Regal (although not internationally) and others have made massive investments in brick, mortar and new technologies.

Some of these cinema operators now have great influence on several continents and we probably have not witnessed the end of these acquisitions. What this all means is not necessarily known at his time, but it surely leads to a handful of companies controlling worldwide exhibition and with that more of a need for one global body of exhibitor leaders to oversee, watch and protect the best interests of exhibition everywhere. Perhaps that is why a number of top exhibition leaders are converging at CineEurope to discuss such a possibility.

It’s really a good time for exhibition currently, and with 2016 being a growth year for European cinemas with admissions rising by 2.8 percent, CineEurope is guaranteed to be upbeat and generate a great deal of enthusiasm among the delegates.

CineEurope has come a long way since its inception 26 years ago in a town called Hysiel, Belgium. It has matured just as the industry has. There are fewer exhibition companies attending CineEurope because of consolidation, but more exhibitors attending and more film studios participating than ever before—12 to be exact. With that, the number of attendees continues to grow and cinema-going has morphed into an immersive experience as a result of tremendous investment in innovative products and technologies by cinema operators.

Programming has broadened at the show because of the diverse nature of the delegates. These are people from all walks of the business—including film, equipment, concessions, production, real estate, construction and finance—and CineEurope tries to cater to each. Programming this year includes “Women in Cinema,” “Innovation and the Big Screen Experience,” and sessions by Coca-Cola on “What Do Youth Audiences Really Want?” and “Unlock Cinema Retail Growth with Disruptive Innovation.”

The International Cinema Technology Association plays a major role in the educational side of the convention from a technology standpoint, emphasizing “Innovations in the Pipeline: What’s New in Cinema Technology,” “Diversifying the Cinema-going Experience: The Business Case” and “Virtual Reality.”

What originally started out as a convention to highlight Hollywood product has now expanded to include European studios such as StudioCanal, EuropaCorp, E One, Mister Smith, UniFrance and SF Studios. CineEurope is truly a global show.

Film Journal International and its team congratulate all the award winners and CineEurope on what looks to be an exciting and productive event.

Enhancing the Cinema Experience

With expanding streaming services and the proliferations of VOD, theatre operators need to continue to innovate to get patrons out of their homes. Those who do not compete to win over audiences will be left behind and lose out to these new digital services.

So what are creative cinema operators doing to lure moviegoers? They are striving to provide a fantastic movie night out and an experience that will keep their patrons coming back. This includes better seats, better food and drink options and a great visual and sound experience.

Of course, content is the most driving force to get one to a theatre—along with location and ease to get to that venue. But following this, one of the most dominant trends is comfort. Customers want comfortable and luxurious seating. Reclining seats in VIP theatres are a must today. Most circuits are spending a great deal of their upgrade budgets on seating.

In-theatre dining and fancy foods are helping to drive customers to movie theatres and these venues are increasingly becoming a one-stop entertainment destination for a cool night out on the town. Expanded menus are responsible for quite a draw, as is evidenced by Dallas-based Studio Movie Grill, Alamo Drafthouse, AMC and others.

Alcohol sales have become an integral part of the moviegoing experience in the 35 states that allow it. It not only appeals to adult moviegoers, it is highly profitable. Savvy operators are being very creative with the drinks they make available to their customers and theming them to specific movies.

Add to this event nights at the cinema and online ticket sales, and going to the movies has radically changed for the better at movie houses across the world. Cinema owners need to stay ahead of the curve to compete in the marketplace today.

Kinepolis’ 20-Year Milestone

Film Journal Internationalis pleased to extend its congratulations to Kinepolis on their 20th anniversary. The company today operates 49 cinema complexes throughout Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Poland. The company is also active in film distribution, event organization, screen advertising and property management.

The management team of Joost Bert, co-CEO, Eddy Duquenne, co-CEO, and Philip Ghekiere, chairman of the board, has done an extraordinary job of growing the circuit. They are innovative, professional and responsive to all the major technical advances in the industry.

Congratulations to Joost for steering the company and being honored at CineEurope with a Founder’s Award. Congratulations to Eddy for being named International Exhibitor of the Year. We wish you another 20 years of success and happiness in this great industry.