Hobnob in Hong Kong: CineAsia 2017 places special focus on China
The Asia-Pacific region continues to be the fastest-growing movie box-office territory in the world (rising from $10.4 billion in 2012 to $14.9 billion in 2016, a 44% increase), so it’s safe to say that the annual CineAsia convention is an essential gathering for top players in the cinema industry. This year’s show at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, running Dec. 11-14, is once again jam-packed with informative seminars about trends in this vibrant region, along with exciting studio product presentations.
All the majors will be there: Paramount Pictures International, Sony Pictures International, Twentieth Century Fox International, Universal Pictures International, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International and Warner Bros. Pictures International, along with IMAX Corporation and regional players Edko Films (Hong Kong), Unifrance and StudioCanal (France), and Lotte Cinemas (Korea). Feature presentations will include Disney-Pixar’s Coco in RealD 3D, Fox’s The Greatest Showman, Paramount’s fantasy Downsizing, and StudioCanal’s Liam Neeson-starrer The Commuter.
The theme of opening day, Dec. 11, is “Focus on China”—a logical choice in light of the country’s continuing phenomenal growth. Dr. Man-Nang Chong, chairman and CEO of presenting sponsor GDC Technology, will deliver the keynote address on “How Technology is Changing the Cinema Landscape,” followed by business sessions on the Chinese marketplace, new technologies and the growth of premium cinemas.
On Tuesday, Dec. 12, Charles Rivkin, CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, will inform the delegates about “Asia and America’s Shared Cinematic Future,” followed by a panel of industry leaders discussing global trends. Then, Disney’s David Kornblum moderates a panel of cross-generational moviegoers to discuss the concepts that entice them to keep returning to the cinema.
CineAsia University kicks off at noon on the tradeshow floor, with sessions on concessions marketing, theatre operating systems, and Coca-Cola’s strategies for beverage growth in cinemas. And CineAsia University continues on Wednesday afternoon with sessions on “Digital Cinema 2.0” and immersive audio systems.
Delegates will of course want to check out all the new products, concession offerings and groundbreaking technologies at the tradeshow, commencing 11 a.m. Tuesday and ending 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
The show culminates with the Thursday lunch and awards ceremony. This year’s honorees include PVR Cinemas chairman and managing director Ajay Bijli as “Exhibitor of the Year,” Toei Company CEO Yusuke Okada as “Distributor of the Year,” and Lotte Entertainment CEO Won Chun Cha, winner of CineAsia’s “Special Achievement Award.” Graham Burke, co-executive chairman and co-CEO of Village Roadshow Ltd., will accept the Motion Picture Association’s Asia-Pacific Copyright Educator Award, Barco will be saluted as “Technology Innovator of the Year” and the blockbuster Wolf Warrior 2 will be acknowledged with comScore’s Asia-Pacific Box-Office Achievement Award.
All the honorees are trendsetters in a region that sets the bar for cinemas around the world.