by Daniel Loria
It's been a big 2014 for Brazil. The country hosted the World Cup and held national elections over a span of four months, a period encapsulated by two defining moments: the national soccer team's humiliating defeat at the hands of Germany and president Dilma Rousseff's re-election by a slim margin. Exhibitors in the country might have taken a backseat to both events, but that doesn't mean the Brazilian market is showing any signs of slowing down. The inaugural edition of Expocine was held in Sao Paulo on November 10 and 11, bringing together industry panels, Hollywood studio presentations, and a complete trade show to one of Latin America's most promising markets.
Paramount, Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. all provided individual presentations of their 2014 holiday and 2015 slates for the attendees. The centerpiece of Expocine, however, proved to be a trade show featuring 30 booths from some of the world's leading companies. Christie, Barco, NEC, Volfoni, Ushio, and Doremi (in what might have been their last trade show before appearing as Dolby) are only a sampling of companies with dedicated booths.
The panels catered mostly to the Brazilian exhibitors in attendance, covering everything from social media trends to local market box office tracking-both of which are relatively unexplored sectors in the country. Conversations on technology primarily focused on the stability of the digital transition, with an array of speakers discussing how to move forward following the big digital conversion. According to ANCINE, Brazil's national cinema agency, 57 percent of the market had completed the transition to digital by the third trimester of 2014. ANCINE director Rosana Alcantara expects the country to be fully digitized in 2015. With the digital transition already well under way, RealD Brazil director Sean Spencer expressed confidence in the growth of 3D in the market. Spencer cited research during his keynote presentation that indicates that 57 percent of the Brazilian public prefers to watch films in 3D, a strong figure when compared to Mexico's 23 percent. Brazilian exhibitors who have already invested in 3D are beginning to see a return on their investment; the average surcharge of a 3D ticket in Brazil ranges between 20 and 30 percent according to Spencer.
The national film industry continues to make strides as well. ANCINE reports that Brazilian films took 18.6 percent of the 2013 box office market share in 2013. The figure should be taken in context, however, as Brazilian exhibitors are required to follow a screen quota dedicated to national films. The policy has inspired a resurgence for Brazilian filmmakers and distributors alike; 2013 saw the release of 129 Brazilian films-the highest number of all time to be given a theatrical run in that country. Ten of those films brought in more than one million admissions each, and another 24 titles recorded admissions above 100,000. That pace has held this year with five Brazilian releases above one million admissions and 12 titles recording over 100,000 tickets sold as of September.
The Brazilian market continues to show signs of growth as local and multinational exhibitors begin to focus on addressing the under-served areas in the north and south regions of the country. The coming years will see the development of a more diverse and decentralized presence of cinemas across Brazil. Expocine will be growing in 2015 as well, with the event already scheduled to add a third day of panels and events next year.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies stormed to a $6.9 million opening weekend in Brazil. The film registered 1.14 million admissions from 1,037 screens (including previews) to claim 70% if the Top 5 market share. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies grossed $117.6 million in its overseas premiere.
Sunday, 12/7 Update: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 remained the #1 film in Brazil with another $1.8 million. The cume is now $17.5 million.
Sunday, 11/30 Update: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 grossed $3.4 million in Brazil over the weekend. The third installment in The Hunger Games franchise has brought in a total of $14.3 million in the market, more than 65% of Catching Fire's final gross. The film continues to do well overseas, finishing its latest frame with a $254.4 million gross. Mockingjay has grossed $480 million worldwide.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 benefited from a long holiday weekend in Brazil to take over the box office. The film captured 60% of the market share with an $8.8 million opening weekend, second only to Mexico in Latin America. The latest Hunger Games film grossed $275 million worldwide in a day-and-date release that included 85 overseas markets.
Interstellar earned $927k from 336 screens over its third weekend in Brazil. The sci-fi flick has now grossed a total of $5.3 million in the market. Interstellar is shaping up to be one of the biggest box office hits of the year with $329 million overseas and $449.7 million worldwide.