Anyone who decided to open a cinema during this decade may find themselves in the middle of an (economic) horror movie: the risk of non-payment.
Almost half (44%) of the film exhibition halls in Spain created in the last ten years have problems meeting their financial obligations, according to a study published this Tuesday by the credit society Iberinform, which has studied the figures. of the audiovisual sector.
The reasons? The pandemic has changed everything. The rise of streaming platforms has had an impact on the decline in viewers, which has not yet recovered the (record) levels of 2019.
“Not only did the covid drive new audiovisual consumption habits, but it restructured the exhibition window, the time that elapses from when a film is released in theaters until it can be seen on other channels,” they say from Iberinform.
Likewise, venues have had to go into debt to run the business. “In the last year, the weight of short-term debt over the total has increased, which represents a deterioration in its quality,” they add. That is to say, on top of that, cinemas owe money on tighter terms.
According to Iberinform, Madrid (14%), Barcelona (13%), Girona (6%), Seville (6%) and Valencia (6%) are the five Spanish provinces with the most cinemas.
However, all is not lost, far from it. The sector has just closed a very good summer, thanks to what has been called the Barbie effect (from the movie). The third week of July, almost triple the usual amount was collected.
“Currently, viewer numbers are only 20% below pre-covid levels, which were very high,” says Pilar Sierra, director-General Secretary at Gremi d’Empresaris de Cinemes de Catalunya. Without going into the economic details, Sierra emphasizes that exhibitor companies have had to endure an increase in energy costs – which almost quadrupled – but that in general, at least as far as Catalonia is concerned, the number of rooms has not undergone significant variations.
In his opinion on the results of the study, “the size of the company that manages the cinemas counts more than their age.” Furthermore, “the sector has been able to count on public aid and is also reinventing itself to diversify its income, from live broadcasting to 3D projections to the organization of events,” he emphasizes. The cinemas are already showing their next adventures...