Box office sales exceed $500 million in Middle East


Box office revenue exceeded $500 million in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, according to a research by PricwaterhouseCooper (PwC), a professional services firm and the knowledge partner of the MENA Cinema Forum.
This is about 1.25 percent of the global box office revenue of $39.92 billion recorded last year, up 3 percent from 2016, according to ComScore.
“The box office turnover in the MENA region would have reached $500-$550 million in 2017,” said Dr. Martin Berlin, partner and global deals real estate leader at PWC.
“The biggest opportunities will come from the opening of the Saudi market, followed by the opportunity from sophisticated pricing mechanisms where cinema operators offer price differentiations based on particular timings and days — to help increase box office revenues. Additionally, premium screening is another way of optimizing revenues.”
The research, to be released at the inaugural two-day MENA Cinema Forum — the first ever business conference of its kind for the regional market will be held at the Grand Hyatt from Oct. 28-29 — will offer a detailed overview on the current situation and future growth potential of the cinema industry in the MENA region.
More than 45 speakers will discuss cinema-related issues — challenges and opportunities — in front of an audience of 450 industry professionals, businessmen, over 90 sponsors and delegates from 30 countries across the world. 
Leila Masinaei, managing director of GM Events, organizer of the MENA Cinema Forum, said: “The opening of the cinema industry in Saudi Arabia — the largest Arab economy — is a game-changer that is opening new windows for foreign investors and cinema operators to offer the best experience to the upwardly mobile young men and women in the Kingdom.
“The changes in Saudi Arabia have opened up a lot of opportunities for industry leaders who are looking at the Kingdom as the fastest growing market for entertainment.”
More than $3.54 billion invested in cinemas across the Gulf is expected to help the region’s cinema industry expand manifold following Saudi Arabia’s historic decision to open up the sector 35 years after cinemas were banned in the Kingdom.



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