Lebanon Businessnews News

Homegrown movie
attendance on the rise
Demand fueled by higher quality films and critical acclaim
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The number of moviegoers attending Lebanese films has increased tremendously in the last two years, with the quarter of all movie tickets sold being for these movies.

Attendance of homegrown productions jumped from 230,000 people in 2014, to 430,000 in 2015, 605,000 in 2016, 900,000 in 2017, and 905,000 last year, according to data compiled at various theaters.

Cinemas showed 22 local commercial and art house films in 2018, and the same number in 2017, increasing from 15 films in 2016.

“The increasing demand for local movies is due to improvements in movie production, and the higher volume of production,” said Isaac Fahed, Regional Sales and Distribution Manager at Grand Cinemas.

“The movies shown were also popular with our audience, especially comedy films, which were dominant,” Fahed said. The Cannes Jury Award for Nadine Labaki’s film ‘Capernaum’ gave the film a push. It was also nominated for an Oscar.

Gross Box Office (GBO) receipts totaled $33 million last year, dropping from $37 million in 2017. “This drop is due to the growth of online streaming media such as Netflix and iTunes,” Fahed said. “Cinemas became the second choice for people.”

The Grand Cinemas chain gained the largest market share (38 percent), with 1.4 million visitors. It was followed by the Prime-Empire cinemas (1.2 million visitors), a market share of 31 percent.

VOX Cinemas is third (559,000 visitors), with a 15 percent market share, followed by Cinemall (379,000 visitors) which has a ten percent market share, and Stargate (112,000) with three percent market share, and Planète (89,000 visitors), which has two percent of the market.

The increase in number of people watching Lebanese films was accompanied by a 13 percent drop in the total number of entry tickets last year, compared to 2017.

Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Feb 27, 2019
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