Admissions and takings grew in 2015, but not the Italian share of the market
by Vittoria Scarpa
- Tickets sold were just shy of 100 million (+8.5% on 2014) and takings grew by 10.7%, but Italian film saw its share of the market drop to 21.3% from the 27.7% it held the year before
Industry associations were left partially satisfied after yesterday’s presentation of Cinetel’s figures on the Italian film market in 2015. Although the year’s box office figures indicate a recovery in total admissions, the same cannot be said for Italian film’s share of the market. Tickets sold in 2015 – as began the president of Cinetel Michele Napoli – numbered 99.3 million, an increase of 8.5% on 2014, and takings reached €637.2 million, up 10.7%. Italian film’s share of the market decreased however, with 21.3% of admissions in 2015 compared to 27.7% in 2014, as did European film (going from 17.2% in 2014 to 15.5% in 2015), whilst films from the United States grew in popularity, going from 49.6% of admissions in 2014 to 60% in 2015. In total, 473 films were distributed in 2015, a slight increase on the 470 distributed in 2014.
“Although we have seen the number of platforms available to viewers multiply, people still want to go to the cinema to see films”, said the president of Anica (the Italian National Association of Film, Audiovisual and Multimedia Industries) Riccardo Tozzi, “but the Italian market isn’t growing”. One of the possible reasons for this is the large number of films being made: in 2015 187 were made, compared to 171 in 2014, but on the same amount of funding: €300 million.” This isn’t growth, it’s fragmentation”, added Tozzi, “the average budget for an Italian film is currently €1.3 million, in 2012 it was €2.2 million. We need to take a more targeted approach to making films, all we’re doing by making so many debut films by young people with insufficient resources is leading them down the garden path.”
That said, there is no doubt that 2016 has got off to a positive start: the period between 1 and 17 January saw 14.9 million tickets sold, up 52.5% on 2015, and €103.5 million were taken, an increase of 57.4%. All thanks to the record breaking Quo vado? [+see also:
film profile], which has so far taken over €59 million all by itself: “We’re all rooting for Checco Zalone, but a system that depends on one or two films is a weak system”, declared Nicola Borrelli, the director general for Film of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, “Zalone has made the same amount at the box office in 17 days that the 10 highest-grossing Italian films of 2015 made put together”. Only one Italian film, after all, features in the top ten highest-grossing films of 2015, led by Inside Out (with over €25 million in takings), followed by Minions and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and that is Si accettano miracoli [+see also:
film profile] by Alessandro Siani, which came in eighth with takings of €15.4 million.
Better distribution of films throughout the year is one of the measures called for by Carlo Bernaschi, the president of Anem (the Italian National Association of Multiplex Merchants): “American films are released all year long, whilst Italian films clump together in certain periods, sucking the potential out of one another”. The average length of films’ runs in cinemas also affects takings: “Some films are screened for no longer than a week, basically it’s as if they were never released”, emphasised Francesca Cima, the president of the producers section of Anica, who also highlighted the poor variety of Italian films on offer compared to those coming from across the pond and the loss of a specific segment of viewers: young people. Andrea Occhipinti, the president of the distributors section of Anica, fresh from his success as distributor for The Little Prince [+see also:
film profile] (see news item) announced that he’s working on launching commercial films for young people starting from April and pointed out that none of the 50 films that did best at the box office last year were low-cost films. “That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make small films, but we also need films with high production value, so that we can compete with films from all over the world”. The president of Anec (the Italian National Association of Film Exhibitors) Luigi Cuciniello concluded by recalling the success of promotional initiatives such as Cinemadays, which centres around reduced price cinema tickets, “an initiative we would like to firmly establish, with two campaigns, in April and October”.
(Translated from Italian)