The number of cinema screens in Saudi Arabia is expected to grow to 2,500 screens by 2030 from 300 in 2020.
Cinema box office revenues in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are expected to grow by 4% to $1bn (Dh3.7bn) by 2024, compared to a 2.4% decline worldwide, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a global auditing consultancy.
Research data analysed by finance website Finaria also showed that globally the combined revenues in the box office industry plummeted by 71.5% from $42.5bn in 2019 to approximately $31bn last year.
By 2030, one of the governing authorities to regulate and operate cinemas, the General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM), expects there to be around 350 cinemas and 2,500 movie screens in the country, and the industry will be worth around $1bn.
Meta Cinema Forum, which takes place amid the World Expo 2020, will host a conference, awards, seminars, workshops, masterclasses, special screenings, premieres, product presentations, slates, exhibitions and live demonstrations. The conference will tackle industry issues as well as regional industry-specific discussions on the film industry across Africa, Asia, South Asia and the Middle East.
Speaking about the event, Leila Masinaei, Managing Partner, Great Mind Events Management, said: “Back for its fourth edition, the Meta Cinema Forum, now expanding to cover markets across including Levant, Turkey and Indian subcontinent, is sure to be the hottest cinema event in the year 2021. The event is unique in that it highlights the only region with an expanding cinema sector, with participants actively attending to source new design ideas, F&B concepts, technological innovation and alternative content.”
Ignace Lahoud, Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas and Majid Al Futtaim Leisure & Entertainment added: “VOX Cinemas is proud to be the strategic partner of the Meta Cinema Forum once again, given our shared commitment to the cinematic experience. Now in its fourth year, The Meta Cinema Forum provides an important platform and inspires dialogues amongst leading players so that we can continuously innovate and enhance the cinema experience and industry. With the Meta region becoming an increasingly important market to the global box office, events such as this are essential to the continued success of the industry and, we look forward to this year’s event which boasts a stellar line-up.”
Meta Cinema Forum will focus on the challenges faced by the cinema industry, changing trends as well as focusing on the new cinema projects that will drive the growth of the industry.
The continued participation and support of the African continent, backed by the Pan-African Film Consortium, will bring the leading African film industry movers and shakers into the conversation.
Mykel Parish Ajaere, President, Pan-African Film Consortium, said: “In 2020, the coronavirus heralded a new economy for the creative industry with the global film industry alone suffering a revenue loss of over ten billion US dollars due to the impact of the virus outbreak around the world. There must be a way to balance commercial returns and I believe that the Meta Cinema Forum will provide sustainable solutions to the Middle East and African cinema, at this difficult time. As president of the Pan-African Film Consortium and as an influencer in the African film industry, I’m excited about our partnership with the Meta Cinema Forum. This is the time for Africa to strengthen its film economy and harness the enormous benefits the forum will provide.”