CineEurope 2015: Growing Optimism at the Annual Convention of Exhibitors and Distributors

On 22-25 June, CineEurope was held for the fourth consecutive year at the Barcelona Convention Centre (CCIB), bringing together some 4,000 professionals from the exhibition and distribution sectors, mainly from Europe. The event was marked by improved prospects for the industry, new technologies and business acquisitions such as Ymagis taking a 51 % share of Proyecson.

The Aula Film Foundation – Josep M. Queraltó Collection, closely associated with the world of cinema exhibition, was once again present at this important industry event.

The opening ceremony on 22 June included participation by UNIC President Phil Clapp and Robert Sunshine, Co-director General of CineEurope. Both made reference to the long-term collaboration agreement signed some weeks earlier between the event organizer Prometheus Gobal Media (PGM) and UNIC (Union Internationale des Cinémas) on the development and management of CineEurope. Presentation of UNIC’s annual award for dedication and service to European cinema exhibition followed, and this year the UNIC Award of Achievement went to Ricardo Évole of Yelmo Cines. Exhibitor and Head of the Fédération Nationale des Cinémas Français, Richard Patry, then offered the main opening speech.

During the morning tea break sponsored by Universal Pictures International the director, screenwriter and novelist Guillermo del Toro received the International Director of the Year award. His film Pacific Rim had taken more than 400 million dollars worldwide at the box office. Josep M. Queraltó, President of the Aula Film Foundation – Josep M. Queraltó Collection, who attended the event was able to congratulate Del Toro in person. The reception hall used for the morning tea was splendidly decorated to the theme of his latest film Crimson Peak, an original supernatural thriller written with Matthew Robbins of Legendary and Universal Pictures, and Lucinda Coxon.

The closing ceremony for CineEurope 2015, sponsored by Coca-Cola, saw the presentation of more awards. Warner Bros’ production The Hobbit, the Battle of the Five Armies won the Remtrak Prize; IMAX Corporation was awarded for technical achievement and technological innovation, the prize collected by EMEA zone President Andrew Cripps; Christopher Lambert, CEO of Europacorp, a company founded by Luc Besson (and responsible for his recent success Lucy), was recognised as the year’s best producer; Jan Bernhardsson of Nordic Cinema Group took the prize for best exhibitor, having created one of the most successful premium exhibition circuits on the continent; Paul Hanneman and Tomas Jegeus, co-presidents of global marketing and distribution for Twentieth Century Fox, were recognised as best Global Distributors of the year; and the Variety Children’s Charity International Prize went to Tim Richards of Vue Entertainment for his work with Hope & Homes for Children.

World Premieres

Six films represented huge world premieres: Ant-man, new from Marvel (Warner Bros.); Terminator. Genesis, directed by Alan Taylor (paramount Pictures); Everest, directed by Baltasar Kormákur (Universal) and which opened the Venice Film Festival; Sicario, a film by the Canadian Denise Villeneuve starring Benicio del Toro, Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin (Lionsgate), which showed at Cannes; Goosebumps, directed by Rob Letterman (Sony Pictures Entertainment) and starring Jack Black; and Vacation, a comedy inspired by the National Lampoon’s Vacation series of the 80s and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein.

UNIC held its annual convention at CineEurope. According to the figures published in June, cinema ticket sales showed a slight increase for 2014 in the territories covered by UNIC. Total box office was up by 0.6 % and ticket sales by 1.7 %. Box office for Spain was up by 3 % in 2014 compared to 2013. UNIC represents cinema associations and exhibitors in 36 European countries, corresponding to some 33,000 screens which took a box office of around 1.15 billion euros in 2014.