Country Focus: Italy
Local cinema experiences 8% drop in first half of 2009
by Camillo de Marco
07/07/2009 - Italian cinema is losing audiences while US films are at full sail according to results for the first half of 2009 in the movie theatres monitored by Cinetel, compared to the same period in 2008.
January 1-June 30 of this year registered approximately one million overall admissions less than in 2008 (-2%,), a loss that was contained thanks to North American titles, with their 32 million admissions and over 63% of the overall market (+ 7%).
With 12.1 million admissions (-4.6 million), the market share in 2009 for domestic films reached only 24.2%, 8% less than 2008.
According to trade paper Giornale dello Spettacolo, this year there were many box office flops among both youth-oriented and arthouse films. The reason behind the former lies in a series of not very interesting titles. However, the unwarranted lack of success for many arthouse films – such as Fortapasc [trailer], Giulia Non Esce la Sera [trailer], Complici del Silenzio [trailer] and Tutta Colpa di Giuda [trailer] -– seems relatively incomprehensible."
According to the official organ of AGIS, (General Italian Entertainment Association), it was legitimate to have greater box office expectations as well from Questione di Cuore [trailer], Due Partite [trailer], Generazione Mille Euro [trailer] and Vincere [trailer, film focus], whose quality was never questioned.
At least three factors contributed to the poor performance of local films at the box office: a growing drop in cinemas suited to this genre; modest and not very creative promotional campaigns; and a lack of rational programming, with too much competition among similar titles that penalised everyone.