"Market comparison" takes place in Riccione
by Camillo de Marco
- Representatives of distributors and operators from three countries held talks in a forum organised by the magazine Box Office during the Ciné “professional days” taking place in Riccione
"Distributors and exhibitors, don’t act like we do in Spain, don’t wait until you’re really in trouble to come to an agreement." Jaime Tarrazón Rodón used a somewhat bitter line to conclude his speech at the “Market comparison – Italy, France, Spain” convention, organised by the industry magazine Box Office during the Ciné “professional days” taking place in Riccione. International delegate of the Federation of Spanish cinema exhibitors (Fece), Tarrazón together with Estela Artacho Garcia-Moreno of Fedicine (Federation of cinema film distributors) described a market in difficulty. "We can blame piracy and VAT, increased in 2012 from 8 to 21 per cent. Nowadays cinema theatres in Spain are closing, not just the single-screen cinemas but multiplex cinemas too".
From 140 million viewers at the beginning of the year 2000, in 2013 the market dropped below 77 million viewers. Positive signs are: some national films that are working well, like Spanish Affair [+see also:
film profile] which this year has brought in over 50 million euro; a 565% growth in the digitalisation of cinema theatres in recent years; a summer season that is doing superbly and a Film Festival with reduced ticket prices, that has made a huge leap forward, to the point that it has doubled its numbers this year with a second date set for October.
In France the film festival has been around for thirty years, in an industry judged among the best-performing, as Renaud Laville told us in Riccione. Renaud is the general delegate of Afcae, the French Association of art house and experimental cinema. With double the admissions and receipts of Italy, the market beyond the Alps is growing this year by 16%, after a difficult year in 2013 in which admissions fell for the first time in many years below 200 million.
"As for auteur films, attendance is stable over time, with 50 million in takings per year, a quarter of the total", explained Laville, recalling the battle of the entire French industry to defend the principle of the cultural exception and the commitment of exhibitors to decrease the VAT on tickets, which was fixed at 10% and then brought down to 5% like for all other cultural heritage. "This even allowed a recovery in film consumption”. Afcae also, which has 915 members per 1,080 cinemas and 2,040 screens, will organise a festival at the end of January in which the best art house movies of the last season will be shown again. "This year it obtained over 280 thousand viewers and it has proved to be an ever more successful initiative”.
(Translated from Italian)