Global movies are growing

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European Update

There’s good news for the New Year. Those attending CineAsia would not be surprised to hear that, thanks to the Asia-Pacific region, global movies and entertainment markets will see “healthy growth” through 2020. While our industry registered a moderate compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.5% between 2011 and 2015 for a value of $78.9 billion, according to MarketLine, things are about to look up.

Data provided by the Manchester, United Kingdom-based research company forecasts a CAGR of 3.4%, reaching $93.3 billion. As “Asia’s strong performance shows no signs of abating,” the United States as the world’s largest single market is expected “to see marginal decline” and this, “coupled with continued decline in Europe,” will impact the rate of growth.

Nicholas Wyatt, analyst for MarketLine, explains further: “Growth in Asia is outstripping that of any other region, where it is largely driven by countries such as China, South Korea and India. The markets in Japan and Australia are struggling as they face maturity. Indeed, more established markets are at greater risk of substitute streaming services, the impact of which is being felt acutely in Western Europe. The U.S. has so far held up well, but services like Amazon Video, Netflix and Spotify are becoming increasingly popular and, as they gain more traction, the market for digital video and music sales will shrink.”

Close to our home, “the box-office segment will always rely on blockbuster films, but the damage done to the music and video segments will mean that the market relies on Asia to drive growth.” Information is based on MarketLine’s Movies & Entertainment Global Industry Guide 2016. For additional information, visit http://marketline.com/.

UNESCO Discusses Cultural Diversity

The exponential growth of e-commerce, the expansion of spaces dedicated to digital creation, the multiplication of distribution platforms, and more: In mid-December, the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions convened at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, to discuss how “the digital environment has profoundly transformed the world’s cultural scene, overturned traditional regulatory mechanisms and affected the status of cultural goods and services in international trade negotiations.”

The sessions’ goals included establishing guidelines on digital governance based on “principles of openness and access,” the Committee noted. Since culture is part of the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, these new measures are intended to facilitate “support for creation; modernization of cultural industries; diversification of cultural and linguistic content; and balanced flow of cultural goods and services.”

The need for guidelines goes back to the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which resulted in 51 bilateral and regional agreements. UNESCO organizers further noted that cultural clauses used in more than one-third of these agreements “remain an effective technique to preserve the State’s leeway and capacity to take action regarding cultural matters.” The 2005 Convention was ratified by 144 States Parties and the European Union, and “ensures that artists, cultural professionals, practitioners and citizens around the world can create, produce, disseminate and enjoy a wide range of cultural goods, services and activities.”

Empire Takes CinemaNext Step

CinemaNext, the exhibitor-services division at Ymagis Group, announced an agreement with Empire Cinemas to oversee the projection and audio installations, field services and technical customer support for all of their 14 locations across Great Britain. Among Empire’s 127 screens are two IMAX Cinemas.

“We have had an in-house engineering team for many years,” explained Justin Ribbons, the chain’s chief executive. “With the advent of digital and the technical changes that our industry has, and continues to have, it is more cost-effective to have a good technical partner that can carry the cost of training, spare parts inventory, installations and, importantly, supporting our cinemas so that they continue to offer our customers the best possible cinematic experience.”

Taking its name from the iconic Empire Leicester Square in London, England, currently operated by Cineworld, Empire Cinemas was founded in 2005 following the mergers of Odeon and UCI (now Wanda/AMC Entertainment) and Cineworld and UGC. In February 2017, Empire Cinemas will open a new 14-screen complex in Ipswich, with another 10 screens planned for 2018.

Having installed 9,000 screens and with 7,000 under service contract, CinemaNext is the largest cinema exhibition-services company in Europe.

Audi Drives Up to EFM Horizon

Audi may be the preferred car of Iron Man, but the German automaker is equally supportive of a “new platform for innovation” that will host a variety of programs at the European Film Market (EFM) during the Berlin International Film Festival (Feb. 9-19). Presented by Audi, the new “EFM Horizon” events are “Propellor Speednic” incubator meetings, a selection of “EFM Startups” and the “VR NOW Con Business Mixer.”

“Game <3 Cinema” reimagines the movie theatre “as a venue for combining the experience of playing a computer game with that of coming together in front of the big screen to share a moment with others,” organizers explain. “In a step beyond the traditional movie experience, exhibitors and buyers can join an audience of gaming enthusiasts to share a first-hand experience of the latter’s world in the cinema setting.”

Beyond games, in the framework of what EFM has called “The Next Level of Cinema,” companies will present new products and offers “to a selected target group of buyers, salespeople, producers, exhibitors and cinema operators, whether they be revolutionary new projection technologies, new sound systems, new camera equipment or other similar developments.”

“Our motto ‘It all starts here’ will take on additional meaning,” said EFM director Matthijs Wouter Knol. “The audiovisual sector is consistently characterized by radical transformations. New technologies change everything, focal points shift, traditional companies have to reconfigure their approaches.”

And that’s another good thought for the year ahead. Wishing you a wonderful, productive and successful 2017.