Italy Eyes Box Office Turnaround

Variety | 2/8/2019 | Nick Vivarelli
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Box office returns in Italy suffered their worst result in a decade last year dropping about 5% to €555 million ($631 million), but the market is reacting and 2019 looks set for a turnaround.

Several remedies are considered crucial to getting local audiences back into movie theaters, the main ones being filling the gap in strong releases during summer which has historically been left wide open disrupting regular moviegoing and also causing a glut of titles the rest of the year; upgrading the country’s screens; and providing more really gripping Italian product which in 2018 made up a healthy 22% of total grosses even though no homegrown pics made it into the country’s top ten chart.

Exhibitors - Year - Distribution - Production - Company

Though exhibitors have been hurting, the year kicked off with distribution and production company Notorious Pictures — the name is a homage to both the Hitchcock film and rock band Duran Duran — announcing it is branching out into exhibition with plans to operate 200 screens within the next five years prompted by a clearly optimistic outlook.

“2019 is going to be an extraordinary year in terms of box office,” says the company’s founder and chief Guglielmo Marchetti who adds: “Everyone in the Italian market —exhibitors, producers, distributors — see a significant growth prospect.”

Marchetti - Others - Upbeat - Attempts - Past

Marchetti and others are sounding upbeat because, unlike half-hearted attempts made in the past, “the majors, and local distributors, are now really making a full-fledged effort to create continuity in release patterns throughout the year,” says Nicola Maccanico, the former Warner Bros. Italy exec who launched new Italian distributor Vision Distribution, in which European pay-TV platform Sky and several prominent Italian indie producers joined forces.

Italy’s exhibitors are now boasting a much improved summer lineup for 2019 with 10 strong Hollywood titles slotted from May to August, including “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” “The Secret...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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