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Barcelona – European movie theater trade body the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) highlighted the fact that its member territories continued to represent “almost 30 percent of global box office revenues,” with exhibition remaining a growth market when compared to home entertainment.
The trade group, which represents the interests of exhibitor trade associations and cinema operators covering 33 countries in Europe, launched its annual report at CineEurope, UNIC’s event owned and operated by FilmExpo Group, which is owned by THR‘s parent company, Guggenheim Partners.
UNIC also said Austrian pan-European operator Cineplexx has joined as a member.
UNIC president Phil Clapp emphasized the “continued growth and diversity of CineEurope,” noting: “As our involvement in the event has grown in recent years, we have managed to further increase the attractiveness of CineEurope. Alongside the vital continued commitment of our studio partners and key sponsors, we have also this year added several great European film companies to the screening schedule and increased the amount of conference sessions available to visitors.”
During the week, the trade association further underlined the need for continued representation in the EU and internationally, given recent policy developments. These include European election outcomes, a pending review of EU copyright legislation and continued debates around film release strategies across Europe.
UNIC also challenged the views expressed by some European union and national government officials that digital distribution was the key route to increasing the market share of European films and to promoting the competitiveness of the entire film industry.
Clapp said: “The numbers set out in our annual report — as well as those I highlighted in my Industry Address on Monday — speak for themselves.
Cinema exhibition remains the motor of the motion picture industry and is crucial for the success of any film — whether European or not — and across all film markets. The failure of new home entertainment formats to develop significant revenue streams is a continuing concern to the whole industry, but cannot be engineered by damaging those strong foundations.”
CineEurope drew to a close on Thursday evening, having seen French trade body Unifrance present a showreel of movies for the first time and a presentation from Entertainment One Films.
The final awards dinner, hosted by British radio and TV personality Edith Bowman, saw Germany’s Contantin Film pick up the CineEurope independent film award, Vue Entertainment’s deputy chief Alan McNair receive the international exhibitor of the year and Rentrak’s international box office achievement award go to Warner Bros. Pictures International for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
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The evening shindig marked a return to an evening slot after the show’s timetable had to be extended this year to accommodate the uptick in presentations and seminars.
Dreamworks Animation CEO and founder Jeffrey Katzenberg was back onstage at the show’s awards ceremony and dinner to present Catalan soccer giants FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu with the Variety International Children’s Fun Humanitarian Award in the company of former Miss World Megan Young.
Next year’s event will be back in Barcelona, running June 22 through 25, without any distractions from soccer.
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