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See the latest news in the Event Cinema industry.

ECA Schedule 2018

Promoting the work of the
ECA around the world.

WHAT IS EVENT CINEMA?Digital cinema has dramatically changed the cinema landscape. The cinema itself is undergoing a radical transformation, and technology continually changes every facet of our business.

Once a showcase for Hollywood studio content, the cinema now offers a range of entertainment from ballet to sport, comedy to live music, opera to theatre, museums to art gallery exhibitions, and much of it broadcast live by satellite, giving audiences the thrill of a live event from the comfort of their local cinema. In the UK alone there are now more than 20 distributors of event cinema, and countless more all over Europe.


The ECA acts as a voice for this increasingly important sector in the marketplace and supports the industry by producing vital box office data and for distributors and exhibitors. At present very little exists freely and this access will provide investors with the information they need to invest in this sector and promote its growth.


Live broadcasting to cinemas(source: WIKIPEDIA)Digital cinemas can deliver live broadcasts from performances or events. This began initially with live broadcasts from the New York Metropolian Opera delivering regular live broadcasts into cinemas and has been widely imitated ever since. Leading territories providing the content are the UK, the USA, France and Germany. The Royal Opera House, Sydney Opera House, English National Opera and others have found new and returning audiences captivated by the detail offered by a live digital broadcast featuring handheld and cameras on cranes positioned throughout the venue to capture the emotion that might be missed in a live venue situation. In addition these providers all offer additional value during the intervals eg. interviews with choreographers, cast members, a backstage tour which would not be on offer at the live event itself. Other live events in this field include live theatre from NT Live, Branagh Live, Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare's Globe, the Royal Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet and the Berlin Philharmoniker.

In the last 10 years this initial offering of the arts has also expanded to include live and recorded music events such as Take That Live, One Direction Live, Andre Rieu, live musicals such as the recent Miss Saigon and a record-breaking Billy Elliot Live In Cinemas. Live sport, documentary with a live Q&A element such as the recent Oasis documentary, lectures, faith broadcasts, stand up comedy, museum and gallery exhibitions, TV specials such as the record breaking Dr Who 50th Anniversary episode The Day Of The Doctor have all contributed to creating a valuable revenue stream for cinemas large and small all over the world. Subsequently, live broadcasting, formerly known as Alternative Content, has become known as Event Cinema and a trade association now exists to that end. Ten years on the sector has become a sizeable revenue stream in its own right, earning a loyal following amongst fans of the arts, and the content limited only by the imagination of the producers it would seem. Theatre, ballet, sport, exhibitions, TV specials and documentaries are now established forms of Event Cinema. Worldwide estimations put the likely value of the Event Cinema industry at $1bn by 2019.[37]

Event Cinema currently accounts for on average between 1-3% of overall box office for cinemas worldwide but anecdotally it's been reported that some cinemas attribute as much as 25%, 48% and even 51% (the Rio Bio cinema in Stockholm) of their overall box office. It is envisaged ultimately that Event Cinema will account for around 5% of the overall box office globally. Event CInema saw 6 worldwide records set and broken over from 2013-15 with notable successes Dr Who ($10.2m in 3 days at the box office - event was also broadcast on terrestrial TV simultaneously), Pompeii Live by the British Museum, Billy Elliot, Andre Rieu, One Direction, Richard III by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Event Cinema is defined more by the frequency of events rather than by the content itself. Event Cinema events typically appear in cinemas during traditionally quieter times in the cinema week such as the Monday-Thursday daytime/evening slot and are characterised by the One Night Only release, followed by one or possibly more 'Encore' releases a few days or weeks later if the event is successful and sold out. On occasion more successful events have returned to cinemas some months or even years later in the case of NT Live where the audience loyalty and company branding is so strong the content owner can be assured of a good showing at the box office.