CineEurope 2022 – Highlights and Trends
June 20-23 at Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona (CCIB)
- Overall mood was upbeat and optimistic, buoyed by a (Helicopter) fly-in appearance by Tom Cruise in support of the industry and his record-breaking sequel to Top Gun, Top Gun: Maverick. The recent release, having surpassed $1B in box office by June 27th, further supports already upbeat predictions for 2022 box office recovery. The audience greeted his arrival with a 5-minute standing ovation.
- Avatar 2 and the resurrection of 3D were previewed, further pointing to “better days” and Box Office, ahead
- Industry experts predicted that 2022 Box Office will finish at $31.5B, only about 20% off 2019’s record level of $42B. (Gower Street Analytics)
- The conference itself was upbeat but still not quite back to pre-pandemic levels, especially attendance by smaller exhibitors and suppliers
Trends and Numbers
- Global Screen Count, now at 213,000, has held up well despite 2 years of lockdowns, cost cutting and market uncertainties.
- Recovery in Europe varies widely by country. France is strong, aided by 40% locally generated content throughout the pandemic. Germany and Spain lag in recovery.
- Penetration of Laser Illuminated [Cinema] Projectors (LIPs) in Europe was reported to be only around 10%, suggesting that estimates of global LIP adoption in Cinema may not be as high previously reported.
- One large “All Laser” (and all 4K) deal – PVR India – for a 1,000-screen buildout was announced. New builds more often take advantage of All LIP technology conversions
- 2K LIPs continue to be important as many customers seek ways to upgrade to Laser projectors but as economically as possible.
- However, one Cinema projector maker continues to market Xenon projectors, even 4K models with advanced features alongside their RGBe and Real|Laser Ô projectors.
- Sustainability is a strong trend, favoring the long-lifetime and near zero consumables of LIPs. Easier maintenance with reusable filters was also pushed.
- Exhibitors of all sizes are finding ways to “premiuminize” their offering, at the circuit – partnering with a branded PLF; multiplex – providing an in-house PLF offering and even within individual auditoria. One exhibitor has been successful carving out 20-25% of seats per room for a premium experience – with seats, sound, 4D effects and other amenities supporting higher ticket prices
- Business discussions reflected a focus more on traffic and attendance, driving number of visits per year vs. spend per patron. This only makes sense for an effort to get patrons back into a cinemagoing routine rather than for once a year, expensive events.
From all reports, CineEurope 2022 continued the upbeat impressions from Cinemacon 2022, in both mood and numbers. There is ongoing growth in Box Office, from blockbusters and in the aggregate; manufacturer deals and new products; and with the continued progress of LIPs in supporting a better, more consistent Cinema experience while reducing total cost of ownership and improving long-term sustainability for exhibitors.