MENA Cinema Forum 2018

MENA Cinema Forum kick starts as global cinema market hits $40 billion in 2018

Date: Dubai, October 28, 2018:The cinema and movie is playing a pivotal role in cultural unity while MENA Cinema Forum, that kicked off at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on Sunday morning, brings over 45 top-notch international speakers, 500 plus delegates from 45 countries in Dubai to dissect MENA cinema industry and how it can be part of global mainstream cinema economy.

The 2-day conference will discuss a variety of industry related strategic topics focusing growth the cinema industry in the Middle East region, while number of cinema screens in the MENA set to jump 38.4 percent to 1,800 in the next 3-5 years, up from 1,300 currently

The keynote panel discussed the economic impact of the growing cinema market in the MENA region, the effect of the Saudi cinema market across the region, industry
rules, regulations, policies and upcoming developments in the cinema sector, new markets, mergers and newcomers, requirements for creating seamless supply chains for the cinema industry in the region, how can all stakeholders sync efforts to build a successful industry, and real estate availability and requirements for physical infrastructure

While moderating the first panel, Jan Runge, Independent Advisor on Cinema Strategy and Implementation and moderator, in his a keynote address said: “There is a fine creative talent in the region, cinema today is truly international and now what we are looking here in MENA region to be part of $40 billion dollar global industry. Dubai as a hub of GCC entertainment has world renowned cinemas in Dubai. The GCC region has 40 million which is huge opportunity.”

Abdulaziz Almuzaini, General Manager and Co-Founder of Myrkott Animation Studio in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said: “Our studies indicated significant potential market, boom in online audience and it is a big opportunity for KSA to capitalize on.”

Arturo Guillen, VP, EMEA & India, ComScore, Inc. said: “We have to develop a lot of local content and how to drive attendance and generate interest. Indian movies will play a major role in 3 million Indians in KSA. Understanding of big data and catering to its requirements serves a goldmine that will optimize the growth of industry.”

Mohamed Al Hashemi, Country Manager KSA, Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas, said: “We need to learn from local versus international cinema markers – Hollywood, Bollywood, Arab. KSA is a promising neighbouring market with new offerings that Majid Al Futtaim Ventures is looking into it and plan for next 5 to 10 years.

Amer Bin Ahmed, CEO, Knauf, the main sponsor of the event said: “They key deliverance is of the right and on time coupled with sustainable supply chain. Each content has its own customers. We are under final stage of signing a big agreement with global cinema giant that we will reveal in due course.

Global box revenue by region
According to, UK’s advisory and consulting said: Over the past year meanwhile box-office revenue continued to climb – increasing by around $200 million to $ 38.6 billion. North America (US and Canada) accounted for almost a third of global sales last year, totalling $11.4 billion – 2.4% more than in 2015. Due to strong growth, the Asia-Pacific region has notably become the largest region in cinema sales, totalling almost $15 billion – about $4.5 billion more than in 2012, and an increase of 5% compared to 2015 figures.

However, while sales continued to boom in North America and Asia, it was not necessarily the case everywhere. In Latin America, sales fell 17.6% to $2.8 billion last year, while the European cinema market has been shrinking for four consecutive years – conversions dropping from $10.9 billion to $9.5 billion between 2013 and 2016. The data show, however, that the decreases in the regions are in part also due in part to higher ticket prices and the dollar exchange rate relative to local currency.

According to the MPAA, the increase in global sales has a significant impact on the dates on which major films are launched. Where first blockbusters were formerly released in the summer and Christmas holidays, the premieres of big movies have gradually become spread more throughout the year. This makes consumers less likely to have to choose between two or more large movies when they go to the cinema.
Top 20 largest markets

Although the Asian region is now larger in sales than the North American, the US and Canada remain the largest cinema sales market. Raking in $11.4 billion in sales, the North American market has grown by nearly $5 billion, growing a gap between NA and the Chinese market by $2.6 billion. The gap between the two has increased over the past year as a result of a box-office decline of almost 3% in the Asian nation.

Editor’s Notes
About MENA Cinema Forum

MENA Cinema Forum is the first and only regional business conference on the cinema industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) that will focus on the growth opportunities of the region’s cinema industry.

As many as 45 specialists will address an audience of more than 450 delegates from 45 countries, backed by 90 sponsors, will participate at the two-day MENA Cinema Forum to be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel from October 28-29, 2018.

The MENA Cinema Forum will bring together the entire spectrum of stakeholders involved within the cinema sector including but not limited to local and international governments, investment companies, mall owners, cinema operators and exhibitors, suppliers and industry leaders, to address the growing requirements of the cinema market within the region.


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