SIAE data reveals a sharp contraction in the 2018 Italian film market
by Vittoria Scarpa
- For the first time in over a decade, no Italian films figured among the top 10 highest grossing films in Italy
For the second year running, Italy’s film market has contracted significantly: in 2018, ticket sales dropped by almost 8 million, while earnings dropped by 40 million compared to the previous year. Figures which, when combined with the unfortunate results of 2017, equate to a loss of over 22 million tickets in just two years (-19%). These are the facts which emerged from the SIAE (Italian Authors’ Society) Annual Report 2018, presented yesterday in Rome by the SIAE president Giulio Rapetti Mogol, flanked by vice-president Salvo Nastasi and director general Gaetano Blandini. It’s a contraction which constrasts sharply with the results of other performing arts and entertainment sectors (especially the theatre, live concerts and football) which have recorded a steady rise in public interest (+0,10% tickets issued), although a clear divide does exist between those living in the North of the country (who spend on entertainment) and those in the South (who are spending ever less on leisure activities).
Covering the period running January 2018 - February 2019, the report shows all the film sector indicators to be in the negative, except for the number of screenings, which remains for the most part unchanged (+0,70%), and the number of working days on which tickets were sold (-0,11%). Viewer (admissions) numbers decreased by 7.9 million compared to the previous year and all related economic indicators also recorded a fall: box office spending (-6,44%), public spending (6,89%) and turnover (-6,86%).
And yet, film remains by far the most widely distributed performing art form in Italy (over 3 million screenings in 2018, which equates to 73% of the performing arts events organised in the country) and the most widely followed (accounting for almost 40% of tickets and subscriptions sold), not to mention the most economical, with an average ticket costing 6.32 euros and remaining one of the lowest rates around.
For the first time in over a decade, there were no Italian works among the top 10 highest grossing films in the country. The box office champion of 2018 was Bohemian Rhapsody [+see also:
film profile] (3 million admissions). Many of the titles which made it into the 2018 top ten - from Avengers Infinity War to Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald [+see also:
film profile], from Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation to Incredibles 2 and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom [+see also:
film profile] – were all demonstrative of the industry’s recent tendency towards sequels. The three best performing Italian titles only just missed out on the top ten: in first position is There Is No Place Like Home [+see also:
film profile] by Gabriele Muccino (over 1.5 million admissions), followed by Blessed Madness [+see also:
film profile] by Carlo Verdone (1.3 million) and Like a Cat on a Highway [+see also:
film profile] by Riccardo Milani (1.2 million).
However, data relating to the early months of 2019 has revealed some signs of recovery: according to reports by Lucia Borgonzoni, an undersecretary and minister for film in Italy’s Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities (Mibac), box office takings in the period May-June 2019 hit 52.7 million euros as compared with 38.9 million euros over the same period in 2018. Furthermore, the revival of the film sector which launched this summer courtesy of the Moviement initiative, and the subsequent theatrical release of 60 new titles over the summer months, seems to have begun to bear fruit: data from July, recorded shortly after the launch of Moviement, already points to a 75.28% increase in takings on 2018, and a 65.15% rise in admissions.
To access the Annual Report, click here.
(Translated from Italian)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.