Country Focus: Italy
Mibac-Anica data: stable production, but cinemas going through crisis
by Camillo De Marco
- Bad news for the movie theatre market, which after losing 8% of its revenue in 2012 and 9.88% of its spectators compared to the previous year, recorded a further fall by 5% in terms of audiences in the first term of 2013. The negative data is particularly affective to Italian cinema, which, despite maintaining a considerable share of the market (33%), has fallen behind where it was in the first term of 2012 when it took up 41% of the market share.
Positive signals have been coming from the production side of the industry though, where tax credits have enabled a 1.07% growth in market, despite constant reductions in public funding. An analysis of 2012 Italian cinema data (accessible here for download in PDF) presented yesterday to the press at the cinema headquarters of MiBAC and ANICA, reveals that €87 million worth of tax breaks were taken advantage of by 79 Italian films through the 2012 tax break policy, constituting the real backbone for Italian production in 2012. The 166 total Italian films produced in 2012 received €337 million in investment (+1.07%).
A solid sector performance then in these times of economic crisis, at least in terms of production financing. Another point worth making is that according to an ANICA/LUISS University study, for €1 spent on tax breaks, around €1.5 is recuperated by the Italian state.
The tax credit will no longer be in effect by the end of this year, with a government extension needed in order to avoid the flight of international productions. “It is impossible to find investors without knowing whether or not tax breaks can be counted on,” said the president of producers Angelo Barbagallo. Co-productions amounted to 37 in 2012, most of which with French speaking countries (20 for France and 6 for Belgium), with contribution from the Italian industry amounting to €80 million.
The application on July 1 of the decree on cinema and television quotas, originating from MiBAC and MiSE at the beginning of this year, will no doubt have positive repercussions. In 2012, Italian cinema presence on the seven Italian television channels went up (+264 titles), with a bigger presence during primetime. Film programming is on the decrease on satellite channels, with an especial drop for standalone films, with 110 less making programming (2723 in 2012 compared to 2868 in 2011), and 48 less Italian films (647 compared to 695 in 2011).