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London—Apr 11, 2013

“Event Cinema in European Cinemas”

New Report from IHS Screen Digest in Collaboration with the ECA
The Event Cinema Association and IHS Screen Digest are delighted to announce the release of a brand new body of research in the area of Alternative Content, also known as Event Cinema, for the first time. 
 
Recognising a need for hard facts in this emerging market, the ECA and IHS Screen Digest have collaborated on this new research, with some surprising findings that stand to shape the industry and ultimately encourage and attract investment. A cross section of European territories from Ireland to Russia was examined, with the assistance of ECA members and others, and while the data confirmed some more obvious patterns, others are emerging that will prove fascinating over the next 12-24 months.
 
A wealth of pan-European statistics has been collected and analysed for the first time since the emergence of Event Cinema back in 2006, and among the trends established, IHS Screen Digest has learned that contrary to many assumptions, the number of recorded events is actually growing, and business models for both live and recorded are developing and co-existing happily. Certainly exhibitors have the flexibility of recorded events to schedule around their mainstream content, and the opportunity to build their audience and market accordingly, although live events undoubtedly have the thrill factor and temporal experience that appeals to audiences more, and box office results reflect this.
 
Indeed, the highest grossing event ever screened was a live show by French comedienne Florence Foresti, staged by Pathé Live in September 2012, registering an astonishing 87,000 admissions in France, Belgium and Switzerland (at €10 a ticket, this produced €870,000 in admissions in a single performance). Comedy until now has been the subject of debate about its potential success in the cinema, but clearly this shows that executed properly, the rewards are significant.
 
3D is also less of a driving factor given the hype it’s had, but event cinema is still young, and this may change as production costs reduce over time. Overall the number of 3D events in the Event Cinema space seems to be slightly diminishing, though that may not be an indication of long term decline, and rather a symptom of the one-off nature of event cinema programming against the high production costs.
 
TV events are very popular in the Netherlands, making up 23% of all event cinema programming, just behind the behemoth of opera (streets ahead of all other genres in every territory studied); in other words, almost one in 4 events was a TV special.  This seems unique to the Netherlands but much can be learned from such success.
 
Senior Principal Analyst and Director of IHS Screen Digest, David Hancock, who wrote the report, said, “It’s very exciting to see event cinema data presented for the first time like this. So far, our research has focused on US and UK markets where we maintain a tracking database; until now we have not had access to research from other European markets. I would like to thank the ECA members and other organisations like Nevafilm and CinemaDigitaal for enabling us to put together this report that presents a factual analysis of the state of the Event Cinema market. I hope the results gives people pause for thought and help the market to evolve in a more informed way”.  
He added, “I look forward to updating this once the ECA’s membership builds to such a significant level that visibility in this key growth area becomes not only expected, but essential to the business planning for exhibitors and distributors. That is a sign of a maturing market. “
 
Melissa Keeping, Chair of the ECA, said, “One of the key missions in setting up the ECA last year was providing the industry with clear and current data and with the analysis provided by David Hancock and IHS Screen Digest, this is a real milestone for the ECA as much as the industry.  The report is fascinating, and European exhibition and distribution will certainly benefit from the willing collaboration of the ECA members, without whose help this would not have been possible.” 
 
Graham Spurling, Director of Movies@ Ireland and a member of the ECA, said, “In Ireland, our company has been supportive of event cinema since the start and it’s fantastic to see such progress in so many markets, and a few surprises in there as well. Event cinema is the only growth area in exhibition these days and it’s a sign the industry is coming of age with the release of this report.”
 
‘Event Cinema in European Cinemas’ will be available for download via IHS Screen Digest (www.screendigest.com) and the ECA (www.eventcinemaassociation.org) from April 16 2013.  For more information, please contact Melissa Keeping: melissa.keeping@eventcinemaassociation.org or David Hancock david.hancock@ihs .com
 
 
The Event Cinema Association
The Event Cinema Association is a non-profit organization, limited by guarantee, overseen by a president and 8 Board Directors comprised of international exhibitors, distributors and technical providers. It was created to both support and promote the developing market for cinemas looking to offer different types of filmed live events to audiences such as operas, ballets, theatre, concerts, sport and special events.   The role of the ECA is to provide a united voice for the alternative content industry in Europe and is striving to rebrand live and recorded cinema programming as ‘event cinema’ in order to engage new audiences. The ECA also distributes a quarterly trailer reel in European cinemas to promote forthcoming events in cinemas, provide a website with useful information for cinemas and alternative content providers, as well as holding events.
 
For more information about the ECA:  http://www.eventcinemaassociation.org/
About IHS Screen Digest: Screen Digest is the pre-eminent firm of industry analysts covering global media markets including film, television, broadband media, mobile media, cinema, home entertainment, gaming, and advertising. In November 2010, Screen Digest Limited was acquired by US research company iSuppli Corporation who were subsequently acquired by IHS, one of the biggest providers of market research and insight globally. Together IHS Screen Digest and IHS iSuppli offer the most complete and insightful analysis of the global technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector. IHS Screen Digest Directory page
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