Admissions in Africa, Mideast set to surge

Cinemagoing to rise by 40% in five years

LONDON — Cinemagoing in Africa and the Middle East is rising sharply, according to Dodona Research. The U.K.-based cinema analysts predict that admissions in 2010 will be 40% higher than those in 2005.

Dodona analyzed the four territories in the two regions that they consider to have the most developed movie industry: Israel, South Africa, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

In South Africa, the two major circuits, Ster-Kinekor and Nu Metro, have cut ticket prices at some multiplexes in order to attract less affluent black consumers. This has proved an immediate success, and Dodona predicts admissions will grow from 29 million in 2005 to 47.5 million by 2010 as a result, an increase of more than 60%.

In Turkey, Dodona expects screens to leap from 1,188 that exist now to 1,250 by 2010 and fuel a 20% admissions rise. Shopping center development in Turkey is aiding growth.

Growth in the U.A.E. is spearheaded by the ongoing Dubai construction boom. The number of screens doubled from 85 in 2000 to 170 in 2005 and are predicted to reach 2,000 by 2010. The 18% uptick in screens will deliver a 21% hike in admissions from 2005 to 2010, according to Dodona.

Cinema growth in Israel is comparatively stagnant with Dodona predicting that admissions and screens will not increase much from 2005 to 2010. The research org blames security concerns for the flat state of cinema biz.

“Consumer incomes and ticket prices are growing quite strongly in some of these countries,” says Dodona report author Karsten Grummitt. “Depending on what happens to exchange rates, it is possible that the $300 million spent at the region’s box office in 2005 could turn into $500 million by the end of the decade.”

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