Global Cinema Industry Lines Up Behind New Coalition

The Global Cinema Federation, a new group representing movie theaters around the world, hopes to put some lobbying weight behind industry issues that cross borders.

In case you haven’t noticed lately, the movie industry is changing significantly.

Movies produced by tech giants are winning Oscars. The quality of the home experience is increasing to the point that traditional theaters are facing tougher competition than ever. There’s a growing push in some corners to shorten or even end the theatrical release window. And piracy is, as always, a big challenge.

And these challenges cross borders. With those issues in mind, it makes sense that a new global coalition is hoping to bring together some of the world’s largest movie theater chains under a single umbrella.

The Global Cinema Federation, a group that will represent movie theater owners in 90 different countries and territories,will help the industry formulate a consistent point of view on the regulatory issues that could challenge or define the industry in the years to come. The group counts numerous major movie theater chains—including the well-known U.S. chains Regal, AMC, and Cinemark—along with the National Association of Theatre Owners and the International Union of Cinemas as founding members.

“Cinema going today is a global and dynamic phenomenon, with growing annual box office returns of $38.6 billion increasingly evenly spread across the world,” the group explained in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “With the rapid development of the industry in Latin America, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region, the operators involved recognize the extent to which the business opportunities and policy challenges they face—such as film theft, technology standards, theatrical release practices, international trade practices, and the highly valued relationship with partners in film distribution—are shared by counterparts across territories.”

The new organization, after getting off the ground, will target larger cinema chains, with the goal of making membership available to theater operators with more than 50 screens—though it plans to rely on volunteer support from chains, rather than member dues. The coalition, however, will make room for smaller operators as part of smaller campaigns.

Alejandro Ramirez Magaña, the CEO of the Mexican theater chain Cinépolis, came up with the plan for the new group, which expects to focus on issues involving piracy, exclusivity windows, investment, and relationships with studios.

“We decided to establish the Global Cinema Federation to give our industry a much stronger global voice in this new landscape and will in the coming months actively reach out to leading operators and their trade bodies around the world to establish an inclusive organization that is able to speak on behalf of a large share of the global cinema exhibition community,” Magaña said in a statement to Variety.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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