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News Article

Cinema Industry: The Return of the Big Screen to Mexico

By Alessa Flores | Fri, 05/22/2020 - 15:43

The Italian government announced that it would reopen airports, movie theaters, and theater activities in the first 15 days of June, according to an article published in Forbes Mexico. Despite that there is no exact date for reopening cinemas in Mexico, exhibitors and distributors from the film industry have announced that they will limit seating space in cinemas by 50 percent and continue to maintain a safe seating distance. 

In 2019, the National Chamber of the Film Industry (CANACINE) gathered approximately MX$19.0 billion in box office revenue in Mexico, representing a 13.3 percent growth compared to 2018 or the equivalent to 350 million tickets sold. Prior to COVID-19 pandemic and cinema closings, there was an estimated average annual attendance of 2.77 times per inhabitant. Which represented a 4.5 percent increase than in 2018.
Mexico is ranked fourth among countries with the highest number of tickets sold in  2019, above countries like South Korea, Russia, France, Brazil, Japan and the UK. According to CANACINE, Mexico occupies ninth place among countries with the highest world box office revenue, representing  which2.4 percent of the total revenue.

The economic crisis for the Mexican cinema was already in the making. According to CANACINE, before suspending all the projections in Mexico City, the film that managed to collect the most income last weekend was Twenty-one Divorced and Fantastic, totaling MX$3.8 million. Estimates provided by Gastón Pavlovich, a Mexican producer from El Irlandes, reveal that an independent production in Mexico costs approximately MX$ 500,000 (US$21,975) a day, while in the United States the sum is US$ 200,000, according to a bulletin by Reporte índigo. In addition,  the Cineteca Nacional announced that daily losses totaling MX$ 250,000, this amount accounts for box office revenue, candy stores, cafeterias, parking and other additional sources. The Cineteca welcomes 2,000 to 3,000 visitors a day.

There is no doubt the film industry contributes great entertainment value to millions of Mexicans, as well as financial revenue the country's economy. However, some things will have to change after its reopening and continue to enjoy the "magic of cinema."  According to a webinar organized by COMSCORE where several Latin American industry executives participated, those involved mentioned carrying out strategies similar to those implemented 11 years ago during the H1N1 pandemic.

Marcos Oliveira, CEO Leverá Conteúdo e Negócios Ltda and panelist of the Webinar #Together for the Cinema explained that in order to accelerate business in the region, it is important to extend the experience of cinema and attract more people, especially those that go to the movies is not a priority once the quarantine is over,  said in a bulletin by Sensacine México. In addition, Oliveira proposed to have a dynamic pricing scheme, generate schedule combinations considering movie theatre proximity attendance, generate attractive promotions, shorten trailers, and make a plan for an increase in the distribution of national films. 

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Photo by:   Bru-nO
Alessa Flores Alessa Flores Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst