‘The room is central’ but the cinemas are empty – Corriere.it

Dr..Two years after the emergence of Covid-19, the crisis of cinemas is clearly visible. The numbers are ruthless: Italy is the only major European country to show a negative sign (-7%) in 2021 receipts compared to 2020 (France + 47.5%, Great Britain + 75%, Germany + 20%, Spain + 45%) and compare the “full opening” period (from April 2021) with the same period of the 2017 three-year period – 2019 represents a decrease of 50 to 60%. In absolute terms, the total sales loss (box office + franchises) in 2021 compared to 2019 was approximately 700 million euros, and for 2022 a decrease is estimated at 60%, equivalent to 600 million euros. In this context, Italian cinema is the most affected and therefore of great concern. These are the values ​​that call into question the survival of the entire system. So it’s time to question ourselves about possible future scenarios and try to formulate urgent and indispensable proposals for the Italian film industry.

The government and the Ministry of Culture have always been close to this sector, ensuring in these two years the tools and resources needed to first respond to the emergency and then support the recovery. More effort is needed today. Emphasizing the “centralization of the room” is not a slogan. It may seem strange that two large television groups such as Rai and Mediaset, which includes Rai Cinema and Medusa, focus on the theatrical market crisis. We are convinced of the centrality of cinemas not for a “romantic” reason but for well-established industrial and systemic reasons.

in the first place, The revenue generated from movie distribution in theaters has always provided an important influx of resources to recover investments Which is useful to remember include production and promotion. The success or failure of a film in theaters has traditionally been an indispensable criterion (including economic) for the business and an essential business tool for sector operators (including broadcasters). Moreover, the importance of the cinematic version is undeniable for the “vision”, including universality, of the film, its talents (directors, performers, artistic personalities) and “strategic positioning” in the panorama of audiovisual products. It is no coincidence that movies are by far the most popular and most valuable content of all time. Finally, it must be remembered that the sector provides employment opportunities for tens of thousands of people between direct and indirect employees.

If all the people involved (producers, distributors, exhibitors and government) believe that “room centralization” is an “added value” to the value chain of the audiovisual product, It is essential that the following interventions aim to protect the exclusivity of cinema viewing Towards a dedicated reward for products designed, innovative and distributed to cinema.

There are four proposals to avoid a dangerous drift in the Italian cinema system. These are structural interventions for the sector Which, however, does not require certain time and resources to be implemented:

1. Schedule. What Minister Franceschini recently announced regarding a 90-day window for all films is commendable and responds to the need for regulation after an unclear period regarding the chronology of film releases. However, we fear that the response of the centralization it deserves to the hall will not suffice: we understand that the 15 months approved in France, despite their effectiveness (96 million tickets were sold in 2021 outside the Alps compared to 25 million in Italy), are difficult to come by. But we believe that 180 days out of the window to protect theatrical release is reasonable and necessary at least for the next three years. In particular, with regard to the chronology, the interventions we propose are of interest: equal exploitation windows for all films (Italian and foreign); A 180-day window to protect the theatrical release from further exploits, for at least the next three years (eventually going back to 105 days before the pandemic).

2- Distribution tax credit. Distribution tax credit is an intervention in favor of the producer, not the distributor; It does not bring the audience to the cinemas but allows the films to reach the theaters with a good communication campaign, which is a prerequisite for attracting viewers, and reducing any economic losses in the period of crisis. This measure makes it possible to increase the investment in the advertising campaign of the film, while giving greater visibility to the product. So we think it is appropriate to extend the rate of this tool to 60% for three years.

3- Production tax credit. We believe it is appropriate to make a distinction in advance between films that are planned for a theatrical release and films that target other usage patterns. Film the cinema brings with it higher economic potential, which is attributed to the release and subsequent longer production series in which every element, including the star system, is improved. For these reasons, the interventions we propose by redesigning the tax credit are as follows: a tax credit for production of 40% cinematographic priority work; A tax deduction for production of cinematographic works targeting modes of use other than theatre, including those using event outputs, is 30%.

4. Regulations Using the event exit for 3 days and the so-called “technical exits”. It is necessary to intervene with clear rules regarding the use of the event which is designed to improve the production of special audiovisual products (concerts, historical, cultural and artistic events), and unfortunately in recent months it has been used as a real trick to get around the windows and access other feats faster.

Not worrying about performing a movie in the hall means separating the production from the audience that should enjoy the movies.. The supply chain will suffer irreversible damage and production will suffer in the long run. Also for these reasons, it would be desirable in the medium term to further empower the platforms, whose role is now indispensable to the Italian sector, providing a greater commitment to purchasing films that are effectively released in theaters, further supporting production and at the same time Cinematic window optimization time. The willingness to intervene in this issue, expressed by Minister Franceschini, and the rapprochement between the various political parties, majority and opposition, expressed several times, give hope that it will be possible to quickly arrive at the identification of new measures allowing companies. To plan activities and investments for the coming months. Without “fixed points”, there is a serious risk that film releases will not be able to plan in the coming weeks and that the crisis in the film industry will become irreversible.

Hopefully we’ll still be in time to be able to step in and really allow Chamber to play the central role it deserves within the sector.

Paolo Del Brocco is the CEO of Rai Cinema
Giampaolo Letta is CEO of Medusa Film

Apr 29, 2022, 21:02 – change Apr 29, 2022 | 21:50

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