European Cinema Union Calls for Sector Support as ‘Spider-Man’ Leads Box Office Recovery – Global Bulletin

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BOX OFFICE

The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), the industry body representing the interests of European cinema trade associations and operators across 39 territories, has called for all stakeholders in European and global cinema industry to support the sector as its recovery from the impact of COVID-19 accelerates into 2022.

The release of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” saw 2021 finish on a high, with several markets including the U.K. and Ireland, France, Russia, Italy and Spain recording their highest-grossing week of the year upon its release, and local European titles also performing well. Looking ahead, Gower Street Analytics has forecast a rosy outlook for 2022, with an estimate of $7.8 billion (+75% on 2021) and $33.2 billion (+55%) for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and global box office respectively.

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UNIC chief executive Laura Houlgatte said: “Online platforms will continue to have their place in the film ecology, but when decisions are made which result in these being seen as a substitute for the theatrical experience, that invariably only results in disappointed cinema audiences, rampant piracy and – crucially – reduced overall revenues. Today we call on all of those involved in the cinema ecology, but in particular content providers and the creative talent and investors behind them, to recognize the economic as well as cultural value of our proven business model, and to redouble their efforts to support a strong, diverse and reliable supply of film content to cinemas.”

FUNDING

Independent studio and financier Goldfinch is launching FF3, an extension of its First Flights funding program for emerging and established indie filmmakers. FF3 will offer an easily navigable platform where filmmakers can raise crowdfunding and leverage new technologies while retaining creative and financial control of their work. The first project on the platform will be Stephen Graves‘ the horror thriller “The Dead of Winter.”

FF3 aims to offer transparency of ownership and revenues through the blockchain, access to untapped crypto funds, and the creation and resale potential of NFTs, to filmmakers. As limited edition NFTs can be sold on marketplaces, with a portion of sales going back to the filmmaker, this creates a new monetization channel that didn’t exist before and will grow with the film’s popularity.

A non-fungible token (NFT) is a non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a blockchain, a form of digital ledger that can be sold and traded.

FF3 will allow “The Dead of Winter” and other projects to allocate tokens to patrons who provide them with funding. Token holders will get access to tiers of NFT rewards that will include NFTs featuring film titles badges, 3D scene stamps, film posters, director note scripts, film scores and exclusive community access to director and producer Q&As.

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