Three NOS cinemas will only show Portuguese films

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Exhibitor NOS Lusomundo Cinemas will dedicate three of its 214 screens to Portuguese cinema only, in Lisbon, Coimbra and Porto, to help increase the market share of Portuguese productions, director general Nuno Aguiar told Lusa today.

NOS Lusomundo Cinemas is Portugal’s largest cinema exhibitor, with 40.4% of the country’s 530 cinemas on the commercial circuit, and has decided that, as of Wednesday, three cinemas will show only Portuguese films every day.

“With these three theaters, we can encourage people to come, create a habit and know that Portuguese cinema is always there. We may be able to work with a specific audience and grow this market share,” he said.

Nuno Aguiar says that this decision is NOS Lusomundo Cinemas’ contribution to ensuring that Portuguese cinema achieves “a share of perhaps 10%” in the number of spectators and, consequently, in box office receipts.

According to the most recent figures from the Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual (Cinema and Audiovisual Institute), 47 Portuguese-produced films premiered in 2023, attracting 328,762 spectators and generating 1.5 million euros in box office revenue.

This means that, in 2023, Portuguese films released in cinemas accounted for a 2.1% share of revenue and a 2.7% share of the audience compared to the total number of films released in the country, one of the lowest market shares in Europe.

The most watched Portuguese film in 2023 on the Portuguese commercial circuit was Manuel Pureza’s comedy “Pôr do Sol: O Mistério do Colar de São Cajó”, with 118,671 spectators.

As an example, in France, one of the strongest countries in Europe in terms of cinema, French films accounted for 39.8% of the market in 2023, with a total of 71.9 million viewers, according to data from the National Center for Cinema and Animated Images.

For the general manager of NOS Lusomundo Cinemas, the option of having three cinemas removes the commercial pressure that exists in other cinemas for Portuguese cinema, due to the number of films that are released. But Nuno Aguiar rejects the idea that this initiative could become a ghetto.

“Obviously, this isn’t a limiting factor. If there is Portuguese cinema that justifies having many more theaters, all the films that justify it – in fact most of the films, at least those that have the most impact on viewers – will premiere in many more theaters than these three,” he said.

Asked what a commercial Portuguese movie with “more impact on viewers” is, Nuno Aguiar responds as an exhibitor.

“Commercial cinema is cinema that has 50,000 spectators, 100,000. If it does a thousand or less, I admit that the films are very good, but in terms of exhibition and commercials they don’t attract as much of an audience. The perspective of the quality of the work is different. As an exhibitor, it’s this commercial component, the number of viewers it manages to attract, that is of interest to us,” he said.

For him, “Portuguese cinema has to get used to making at least two films a year with more than 200,000 spectators and others with more than 50,000”. “Otherwise we’ll never reach 10% market share,” he said.

According to the exhibitor, from Wednesday the cinemas at Alvaláxia Shopping in Lisbon, Alma Shopping in Coimbra and Alameda Shop & Spot in Porto will have a room for Portuguese cinema.

The initiative opens on Wednesday in Lisbon with a screening of three Portuguese short films under the title “Entre Muros”, bringing together the films “2720” by Basil da Cunha, “Corpos Cintilantes” by Inês Teixeira and “Natureza Humana” by Mónica Lima.

The session, at 19:30, will feature the authors in a conversation moderated by António Brito Guterres.

According to the exhibitor, the program already planned until September includes films such as “Cândido – O espião que veio do futebol”, by Jorge Paixão da Costa, the premieres of “O teu rosto será o último”, by Luís Filipe Rocha, “Camarada Cunhal”, by Sérgio Graciano, and “Mãos no Fogo”, by Margarida Gil, and the repositions of “Pátio das Cantigas” and “O pai tirano”.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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