Europe marks record box office

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European Update

During CineEurope, the International Union of Cinemas published its annual report, examining key trends “during what was a record year for many across the 36 territories” represented by the trade organization. In “assembling final end-year performance data across such a wide range of European territories” for the first time, the report confirmed that cinema admissions across the region increased by 6%, reaching more than 1.26 billion visits. Total box-office revenue reached €8.8 billion (US$9.81 billion), a 12.5% growth over 2014, representing 24% of the global theatrical market.

“Cinema-going across Europe is thriving,” said Phil Clapp, president of UNIC, noting how both the annual report and CineEurope symbolize “the vibrancy and diversity of our sector and its contribution to the success of the wider film industry not just in Europe but also on the global stage.” In his convention keynote, Clapp addressed the “strong relationship” between cinema operators and their partners in film distribution, seeing it “as key both to the success enjoyed by the European industry in 2015, and in years to come.”

Alongside all the data, the report also examines a number of public-policy issues and advocacy activities undertaken by UNIC in response—all taken, they assured, “with the objective of ensuring that cinema remains central to the European Commission’s audiovisual policy agenda.” The UNIC Annual Report 2016 is available online here.

Sony Sets 4K PLF Options

Also during CineEurope, Sony Digital Cinema announced a “pioneering” and “first-of-its-kind” technical trial for Nuremberg, Germany. “We’ve never been afraid to push the boundaries and give audiences something they’ve never seen before,” stated Wolfram Weber, owner-operator of CinecittaMultiplexkino (and so much more) about exploring options for the giant among its 23 screens. “We’re already proud owners of seven high-contrast dual Sony 4K systems. So when Sony came to us with the exciting prospect of trying something totally new, we jumped at the chance.”

For the Cinemagnum 3D dome auditorium, built in a former bunker, Cinecitta’ installed Sony’s “ultimate new large-screen 4K projection solution” combining four of the manufacturer’s SRX-R515 projectors “to deliver a huge 60,000-lumen total light output.”  Exceeding 8 ft-L in 3D on Cinemagnum’s 30-meter-wide screen (98 feet) covering 600 square meters (6,458 sq. ft.) for 520 seats, Cinecitta’ is able to continue to use their existing polarizing 3D glasses.

“This is absolutely a dream come true,” added Benjamin Dauhrer, Cinecitta’ chief technical officer, about what he calls a “mind-blowing” experience. “Aside from stunning pictures, the other great attraction for us is the quite remarkable cost that’s a fraction of other big-screen solutions.”

Just last year, Cinecitta’ installed Germany’s first SRX-R515DS dual 4K projection system, and has followed suit with seven more.

In a first for Northern Ireland, Omniplex Cinema Group installed a full set of eight 4K systems at Banbridge, including the SRX-R515DS dual system to power the theatres’ largest OmniplexMAXX PLF auditorium. In Barcelona, Sony also introduced a smaller dual system capable of delivering 18,000 lumens. According to the manufacturer, this SRX-R510DS model offers “plenty for smaller independent cinemas and boutique screens looking to impress their patrons with a premium entertainment experience.”

Dolby Atmos Draws Over 600

Cinecitta’ Nuremberg is among the now over 600 Dolby Atmos screens already installed or committed across the EMEA region. NOS Cinemas, Globusmax and Traumpalast are “helping Dolby reach this significant achievement,” the company noted about these partners’ commitments for an additional 95 Dolby Atmos screens to open through 2017. “This influx of customer wins is clear evidence of the momentum that we continue to see,” added Andreas Spechtler, president of Dolby International.

Both Globusmax and Traumpalast opened Dolby Atmos-only multiplexes, operating 17 auditoriums in Haifa and 15 in Kfar Saba, Israel; and ten screens in Leonberg, Germany, that also offer Dolby 3D and D-Box motion seats. Worldwide, there are more than 1,800 Dolby Atmos screens installed or committed in more than 60 countries. More than 130 mixing facilities are equipped and Dolby confirmed that some 465 titles are announced. For the latest list of Dolby Atmos titles, visit www.dolby.com/atmosmovies.

A ‘Neuroscience Twist’ at CineGlobe

CERN, the Geneva, Switzerland-based European Organization for Nuclear Research, hosted its sixth annual CineGlobe International Film Festival. On the five-day agenda were “projections under the starry sky and a circus of games with a neuroscience twist!”

Beginning with the latter, as invented by filmmaker-artist Brent Hoff and roboticist Alex Reben, the “Emotional Circus” had contestants of all ages don “specially designed machine-brain interfaces…to see who can feel the most,” organizers explained. Measuring their brain-wave activity, participants could fill balloons with bliss, race cars with rage, and partake in “the world’s first oxytocin-measuring kissing contest.” How about that for your next Event Cinema presentation?

Film projections in the Globe of Science and Innovation at CERN offered collections of short films and features, as the Festival hosted a 48 Hour Film Project competition dedicated to science fiction. For children, films were shown in the Minima Cinema, and a workshop held on the creation of a pinhole camera with an old milk carton.

BFI Takes #MYFILMFUTURE on the Road

Through July 12, the British Film Institute (BFI) is hosting nine events across the United Kingdom in order to hear from industry and public “to help shape its next five-year strategy for supporting and promoting film, TV and the moving image” at home and around the world. The BFI2022 Consultation, as the program has been named, is online as well and “open to everyone, everywhere—from professionals…to anyone who enjoys watching film and television” until Sept. 8.

In addition to outlining the achievements and progress made over the past four years—including the introduction of diversity standards and “building opportunities for audiences across the U.K. to see and access a broader range of film,” to name but two items in the announcement—the BFI invites “the audience to share their ideas and views on the challenges facing film, TV and the moving image, particularly in a rapidly evolving media landscape in which technological innovation is creating new opportunities for creators and audiences.”

If all goes according to plan, the BFI’s strategy for 2017-2022 will be launched in November 2016.