3D behind boost in 2009 gross, Tozzi calls for more commercial auteur films
by Camillo de Marco
In 2009, film consumption registered an increase in revenue and a slight drop in admissions. Box office gross rose 5% over 2008 (from €593.7m to €622.66m) while admissions decreased by 4% (from 99,303,000 to 98,939,000).
"The impact of 3D was certainly decisive in sustaining the box office", said Riccardo Tozzi, president of the Producers Section of ANICA. However, he was more concerned with the significant drop in market share of Italian films: from 28% in 2008 to 23% (from 29% to 23% when taking into consideration co-productions), which translated into a 14.4% decrease in box office revenue.
"After almost a decade of uninterrupted growth comes a sudden and unexpected reduction", which Tozzi attributes to the growth of multiplexes and the subsequent decline in single-screen urban cinemas. "With respect to box office figures, the rise to 60% of audiences who go to a multiplex for any given film, and the subsequent drop to 40% for urban cinemas, means that Italian, European and independent American films have more trouble reaching their (prevalently urban and adult) audiences. Moreover, the spread of 3D in the larger cinemas takes away this important section of the film cinema circuit from Italian films".
According to Tozzi, in the last 10 years Italian cinema was made up of 40-45% commercial comedies, 40-45% commercial auteur films and 10-15% arthouse films. "What is new this past decade is that the growth in the overall market share of Italian films came from commercial auteur films. By directors such as Gabriele Muccino, Nanni Moretti, Ferzan Ozpetek, Carlo Verdones, Paolo Virzì, Cristina Comencini, Silvio Soldini and Gabriele Salvatores, as well as others who makes films that gross an average of €4-5m".
The recipe for increasing the market share of Italian films thus requires investing in new filmmakers and pushing them towards audiences, younger ones as well.
To download the ANICA report in PDF format, click here.
(Translated from Italian)