Leading Exhibitors to Form Global Cinema Federation

Movie Theater Interior - H 2012
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Movie Theater Interior - H 2012

AMC, Cinemark, Wanda and Vue are joining forces with trade groups NATO and UNIC to lobby on behalf of the cinema sector around the world.

Some of the world's largest cinema operators, representing exhibitors in more than 90 territories, announced Wednesday they are forming a new worldwide body to represent the interests of the global industry.

Exhibitor chains, including AMC, Cinemark, Cineplex, Cinepolis, Cineworld, CJ-CGV, Event Cinemas, Les Cinemas Gaumont Pathe, Regal Entertainment Group, Vue International and Wanda Cinemas are the founding members of the new group, called the Global Cinema Federation. Theater exhibitor trade bodies NATO and UNIC will be the founding trade organizations for the new group.

Announcing the body at CineEurope on Wednesday, the association said theater operators worldwide share common interests and face common challenges to their businesses.

“Cinema going today is a global and dynamic phenomenon, with growing annual box office returns of $ 38.6 billion increasingly evenly spread across the world,” the group said in a statement. “With the rapid development of the industry in Latin America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, the operators involved recognize the extent to which the business opportunities and policy challenges they face — such as film theft, technology standards, theatrical release practices, international trade practices and the highly valued relationship with partners in film distribution — are shared by counterparts across territories.”

The founding members will initially form the governing body of the new group, but the Global Cinema Federation said it anticipates extending membership to larger global cinema operators (defined as operating at least 250 screens) as well as national cinema exhibition trade bodies. Operators with fewer than 250 screens will be allowed to join the initiative to remain informed and support campaigning on relevant issues, the group said. The Federation said it did not anticipate requiring members to pay dues but that members would volunteer time to assist in the day-to-day management of the group.

“This is an exciting time for cinemas and their business partners all around the world as the industry enters a new era of global collaboration and ongoing innovation,” said Cinepolis CEO Alejandro Ramirez Magana, who chaired the group that developed plans for the Global Cinema Federation. “We decided to establish the Global Cinema Federation to give our industry a much stronger global voice in this new landscape and will in the coming months actively reach out to leading operators and their trade bodies around the world to establish an inclusive organization that is able to speak on behalf of a large share of the global cinema exhibition community.”

Following its initial meeting at CineEurope this year, the Global Cinema Federation is planning similar gatherings with key parties at industry events throughout the year, including CineAsia and CinemaCon.

The founding members of the Federation said they will, over the coming weeks, formalize the association's policy positions in several key areas, including piracy, the issue of theatrical exclusivity and international trade and foreign investment, and establish how best the Federation should work to achieve its goals.