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Brazil & Mexico Dominate Latin American Exhibition

Brazil and Mexico Dominate Latin American Exhibition

Latin America will be one of the world's most buoyant market over the next five years, with Brazil and Mexico, leading the way, according to a new report, Cinemagoing Latin America* from analysts Dodona Research. The report, which covers the key markets of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, forecasts admissions in the region will reach 463 million by 2011, compared with 357 million in 2006.

The largest market in the region is Mexico, whose 105 million people each visited the cinema 1.57 times on average in 2006. The fastest-growing, by contrast, is Peru, where admissions grew from 8.5 million in 2001 to 15.2 million in 2006.

Altogether there are over 8,100 screens in these countries, compared to 6,300 five years ago. Another 1,500 screens are expected to open in the next five years. Most screens are in Mexico (3,801) and Brazil (2,045) but the fastest growth is expected in Colombia, whose screen count of 395 in 2006 is forecast to rise to 525 by 2011.

Although the region is growing fast, ticket prices remain relatively low, ranging from an average of US$4.00 in Chile to just US$2.21 in Peru. In the largest markets, Mexico and Brazil, cinema-goers pay US$3.33 and US$3.53 respectively.

Box office in these countries reached US$1 billion for the first time in 2004, rising to US$1.17 billion by 2006. The Hollywood studios - whose products dominate these markets - stand to see their dollar receipts from this market climb still further as a result of the weakness of the American currency.

As in almost all but the most developed cinema markets, digital cinema has yet to make a significant impact across most of the region. The exception is Brazil, where the content aggregator, Rain Network, has built a network of over 130 digital screens, with plans to extend this to 300. It operates an unrestricted platform outside the Hollywood DCI guidelines, and has applied novel ideas such as theatrical-on-demand to allow cinema-goers to participate in selecting films for screening at their local venues.

Much of the growth in the region has come as a result of private equity finance being available to expand circuits or establish new ones. The largest circuits are Organizacion Ramirez (with 1,661 screens across the whole of Latin America), Cinemark (1,001), MM Cinemas (785), and Cinemex (488). Another eight circuits have between 120 and 219 screens. Report author Alisdair Ritchie believes exhibitors will continue to invest in the region: "Latin America is benefitting enormously from the current raw materials boom. While this continues the region's consumer economies will continue to grow, and cinema exhibition can be expected to be a beneficiary of this".


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