A Global Initiative

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In Focus

One thing is certain: Consolidation in the theatrical market is going to continue. More and more of the global marketplace is being controlled by fewer and fewer companies. With industry issues that cross borders and affect all of exhibition—large and small—there is a need for one group to represent the best interests of movie theatres around the world. Results come about when large numbers come together and get behind industry issues like:

* Piracy

* Theatrical exclusivity

* Accessibility

* Technology and standards

* Relationships with studios

For years, Cinépolis CEO Alexandro Ramirez has thought about this idea, and the idea has now come to fruition with the creation of the Global Cinema Federation (GCF), a cross-industry global working group. The Federation will address the above issues and hopefully raise the profile of cinemas with global regulatory bodies and industry partners. Initially, 11 leading cinema operators together with NATO and UNIC will make up the group. It is anticipated that membership will be extended to those global cinema operators with at least 250 screens.

Founding operator members of the group are AMC, Cinemark, Cineplex, Cinépolis, Cineworld, CJ-CGV, Event Cinemas, Les Cinemas Gaumont Pathé, Regal Entertainment Group, Vue International and Wanda Cinemas. The founding trade associations, as mentioned, are the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC). Together, these companies and organizations have interests in more than 90 territories.

While further work continues on the formulation of policy positions and working procedures within the group, the founding members organized an initial gathering—including a wide range of other leading operators—at June’s CineEurope in Barcelona, Spain.

The founding members are working on a formulation of policy positions and working procedures within the group. The founders will have similar meetings at CineAsia, CinemaCon and other trade events. As Ramirez states, “We decided to establish the Global Cinema Federation to give our industry a much stronger global voice in this new landscape and will in the coming months actively reach out to leading operators and their trade bodies around the world to establish an inclusive organization that is able to speak on behalf of a large share of the global cinema exhibition community.”

The GCF will augment the founding members by extending an invitation to those larger global cinema operators with at least 250 screens as well as national cinema exhibition trade bodies, resulting in an overall group that speaks on behalf of a significant majority of those making up the global exhibition sector. Smaller operators below the 250-screen threshold will be able to join the initiative in order to remain informed and support the company on key issues.

Now that the international box office represents nearly 73 percent of the pie, it was only inevitable that a global organization would arise to handle the common problems that collectively face all exhibition.

Nearly all the founding members enjoy tremendous international experience, so identifying key issues is an easy task and makes it simple to formalize policy positions. The question now is how the group responds to these issues—it might involve education and/or advocacy, depending on the problem.

Although particulars are not available at this time, the group is calling for its next meeting in Hong Kong at CineAsia. To have any standing, an executive will have to be installed to carry out the day-to-day operations of the unit and to implement the policies of the GCF.

We applaud exhibition for their foresight and commitment to better the industry.

Ask the Audience!

Film Journal International is proud to announce a new collaborative effort with cinema-advertising and pre-show leader National CineMedia (NCM). With our monthly “Ask the Audience” column, we will glean information from NCM’s exclusive “Behind the Screens” community of 5,000 frequent moviegoers of all ages, from all parts of the country. More than half of these participants go to the movies at least once a week, and an impressive 97% attend at least once a month. NCM has been asking them questions about the moviegoing experience since 2015 and has a huge reserve of findings to share with our audience. And we invite our readers to tell us what they’re curious to know about these avid moviegoers’ likes, dislikes and valuable perspectives. In the NAC-themed issue of our August issue you’ll find our first survey, which focuses on movie concessions: how often these moviegoers make a concession stand purchase, how much they spend, and what their favorite snacks are. We’re excited about this new feature in FJI and look forward to discovering much valuable information about our business in the months ahead.