Country Focus: Italy
2012 Cinetel data, a year to forget
by Camillo De Marco
- The year 2012 came to a close with a negative balance sheet for the Italian cinema industry. The total number of spectators decreased by 10%, while income went down 8%, despite the number of films distributed remaining the same: 363 in 2012, 360 in 2011. Particularly alarming was the proportional fall of Italian films on the market, accounting for 26.5% of films in 2012, compared to 37.6% the year before. European films on the other hand received good news, growing in number as well as in proportion, going from representing 13.8% to 18.3% of films on the market. Despite a slight decrease in audiences for American films (47.4 million in 2011 to 46.7 in 2012) the overall drop in audiences still meant an increase in market share for American films, taking 51.2% of it in 2012 compared to 46.8% in 2011.
The data from the 2012 cinema market, revealed by Cinetel were presented in Rome yesterday by the ANEC and ANEM organizations, as well as producers and distributors from ANICA. They were the reflection of a general ongoing economic crisis which has meant people are less willing to spend money on cinema outings, despite the fact that tickets only went up by 0.7% in 2012 compared to 2011.
"There has been a lack of political action over the last fifteen years aimed at the cultural industry and at the problem of piracy,” the head of ANICA Riccardo Tozzi lamented. Tozzi asked for an Italian cinema agenda to be confronted with politics. He also asked for self-reevaluation. “Enough with the easy comedies and the obscure films no one understands. Just like what French cinema is doing, we need to aim for a quality product with popular appeal.”
For Lionello Cerri, head representative of workers at ANEC, the time has come for “pointed interventions for cinema digitalization and against piracy.” The industry is now aiming to encourage cinema going during the summer months. A Festa del Cinema (cinema celebration) is being organized for mid-May, when tickets will cost €3 over the course of a week.