You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fewer buyers to market

AFM sales, attendance off, but Euro spending up

Final attendance figures released Wednesday by the American Film Marketing Assn. confirmed what sellers at this year’s AFM already knew all too well: buyer attendance was down, particularly among Southeast Asians and Latin Americans.

On the bright side, European buyers, especially the French, Spanish and Italians, significantly increased their presence at the beach mart.

This year, 1,589 registered buyers representing 733 companies roamed the halls of the Loews Santa Monica, off 6% from last year, when 1,685 representatives of 774 companies were on hand.

At the same time, the number of exhibitors increased by 4% from 2,277 to 2,377. The figures don’t include buyers and sellers using the 1,000 transferable badges issued to exhibitors to provide temporary access for their unregistered guests.

While AFMA doesn’t track sales at the market, anecdotal reports indicated that sales, too, were off, particularly for low-budget films lacking theatrical poten-tial.

“I think we’re seeing the start of a shake-out period for companies with films which are not meeting their gap payments and not finding distribution,” said AFMA president Tim Kittleson.

Regional economic woes caused a drastic reduction in attendance by South Korean distributors, a key source of financing for foreign sellers in recent years. The number of companies buying product for Korea, was down 54% from 37 in 1997 to just 17 this year. Even more dramatic, the number of individuals representing those companies dropped 68% from 111 to 35.

The Korean distributors who are here are hardly in a spending mood. Sellers said they were being offered about 20% of what they were getting for similar films at Mifed just five months ago.

Attendance by buyers from Indonesia was down 63%; Malaysia, 55%; Thailand, 44%; and the Philippines 36%.

Distributors from Latin America as a whole saw a 13% drop in attendance. There were 14% fewer Brazilian buyers, 14% less Colombians, 20% less Mexicans and half as many distributors from both Peru and Puerto Rico.

The biggest increases were among Europeans, where 546 people representing 235 EU buyers showed up. EU companies accounted for 34% of those attending, easily the largest segment. Asia was second with 20% followed by North America with 19%.

Non-EU territories saw an 11% boost in attendance, from 90 in 1997 to 100 this year.

The daily presence of E! Entertainment Television cameras in the Loews lobby notwithstanding, press representation was down 6% from 299 in 1997 to 280 this year, according to the AFMA report.

“We were a bit tougher on accreditation this year,” said Mort Segal of DDA, which handles press relations for AFMA, “In years past some companies have observed accredited journalists trying to sell them projects.”

More News

  • ‘Bumblebee’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad

    ‘Bumblebee’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Paramount Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Bumblebee.” Ads placed for the sci-fi/action film had an estimated media value of $6.31 million through Sunday for 941 national [...]

  • Ryan Reynolds Stunt

    Film News Roundup: Ryan Reynolds' Michael Bay Film '6 Underground' Wraps Production

    In today’s film news roundup, shooting has wrapped on Ryan Reynolds’ “6 Underground,” BAFTA LA names new board members, and the WGA East honors longtime exec Randall Jasta.  PRODUCTION Michael Bay’s Ryan Reynolds-starrer “6 Underground” has wrapped production. Netflix and Skydance Media completed principal photography in Abu Dhabi on the action-adventure, which reportedly carries a $125 [...]

  • Bruce Springsteen on Broadway

    Film Review: 'Springsteen on Broadway'

    Hope you like the 69-year-old version of Bruce Springsteen’s face, because it’s virtually all you’re going to see for the two hours and 40 minutes of the filmed “Springsteen on Broadway” — other than the bare brick wall of the theater casting a dim glow in the background beyond those gray sideburns, and two songs’ [...]

  • Kirk Kerkorian

    Kirk Kerkorian's Estate Settles With Widow for $12.5 Million

    The estate of late media mogul Kirk Kerkorian has a reached a settlement with his widow, who claimed she was entitled to a third of his $1.8 billion fortune. Una Davis will receive just $12.5 million under the deal, which is set for court approval on Wednesday. Davis married the mogul in March 2014, becoming [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'A Star Is Born,' 'Vice' Lead 2018 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Nominees

    The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) announced their nominees for the 8th annual AACTA International Awards on Tuesday. “A Star Is Born” and “Vice” lead the pack, with five and four nominations respectively. The two leading films compete with “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “Roma” for best film, while Nicole Kidman becomes the [...]

  • The Netflix logo is displayed at

    TV Roundup: Netflix Orders Ted Bundy Docu-Series

    In today’s TV roundup, Netflix has ordered a docu-series on serial killer Ted Bundy and “Love, Gilda” sets a premiere date on CNN FIRST LOOKS Variety has obtained an exclusive clip of “Into the Okavango,” the upcoming National Geographic film. Premiering Dec. 14 on Nat Geo, the film, six years in the making, follows a [...]

  • China's Government Orders Talent Home to

    After Golden Horse Awards Embarrassment, China Orders Talent Home for Huabiao Ceremony

    China’s government quietly ordered top Chinese talent back to the mainland from abroad this past weekend to attend a Beijing ceremony for its highest film industry honors, the loosely bi-annual Huabiao Awards. The move came just weeks after it directed mainland film executives and talent to snub after-parties and return home as quickly as possible [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content