ECA VIEW: Event cinema that pushes boundaries

Music, e-sports and art were all on show at the Event Cinema Association’s recent slate day. Grainne Peat notes how such diverse content is gaining traction.


 Highlighting the breadth of the content available in the event cinema sector, the ECA drew colleagues from across Europe to London’s Vue Leicester Square, in mid-January to experience slate presentations from numerous distributors. These gave an idea of what we can look forward to throughout 2019, alongside a number of data insight presentations from Comscore, Powster, Showtime Analytics and Screen Moguls all focusing on more effective marketing for event cinema. 

Insight discussions added an extra level to the event. The collation and sharing of data around this sector has never been as extensive as it is currently, and these presentations clearly demonstrated how well event cinema is performing and how we (exhibitors, content providers and vendors) can use that to profile and market to audiences better.  

Box office on the up

There was certainly a great deal to celebrate and enjoy over the course of the day. Last year was an incredibly successful and interesting one for event cinema and we can take a lot of learnings from the past year to help grow the potential of our sector. Box office figures for 2018 in UK and Ireland, for example, finished at £41.5 million, up 19% from 2017. 

The day concluded with the ECA Box Office Awards, sponsored by Encompass, recognising the success of the biggest global titles of 2018. Trafalgar Releasing, CinemaLive, More2Screen and the Royal Opera House all went away happy winners. The full results list can be found below.

This was the first ECA event under my leadership, and the level of attendance and enthusiasm on the day was encouraging. It was a great opportunity to demonstrate the new vision of the ECA and provided the perfect forum to announce new board appointments: Trafalgar Releasing’s Marc Allenby and former UNIC CEO, Jan Runge — and to expand on our plans for the association’s annual conference. 

Brussels is where we will be for the 2019 ECA conference this in September. The exact date is to be confirmed as we, but the ECA is keen to share best practice, trends and constraints with all professionals who support event cinema. Topics for discussion are already emerging around marketing, increasing F&B spend, ticketing, gaming and content delivery. We’ve identified some interesting case studies to track across 2019 that we can present at the conference..

ECA Box Office Awards

Highest Performing Opera Title of 2018: Carmen: Royal Opera House — Trafalgar Releasing & More2Screen

Highest Performing Theatre Title of 2018: King & I: Live From The London Palladium – Trafalgar Releasing

Highest Performing Ballet Title of 2018: Swan Lake: Royal Opera House — Trafalgar Releasing & More2Screen

Highest Performing Music Title of 2018: Burn The Stage the Movie – Trafalgar Releasing

Highly Commended Event of 2018: Cliff Richard Live: 60th Anniversary Tour – CinemaLive

Highly Commended Event of 2018: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – More2Screen