Year-End: Brazil Booms & Braces For World Cup; Local Comedies Big In Latin America

By | Sunday January 5, 2014 @ 12:40pm PST

YearEnd2013_badge__131227212819__131230220451It’s estimated that Latin America‘s share of the global filmed entertainment market will hit $6.8B by 2017, according to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report. But will the region’s biggest country, Brazil, continue its growth? And how is Hollywood planning for next year’s World Cup? Elsewhere in the region, local language commercial fare was big for the studios. Here’s a look back at 2013 and some thoughts for the future in some of the Latin American territories:

BRAZIL
flag-brazil-XLKeen to take advantage of a prime holiday release date, Lionsgate sent The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to Brazil ahead of any other territory in November. The sequel tripled the first film’s opening take there and now has about $17.6M to date. Brazil has grown steadily, but I’m told it’s underserved with about 2,500 screens for a population of over 201M. Box office in 2012 was $737M, a 6% increase on the previous year, and 2013 looks set for another jump once the final figures are tallied. As of late November, it was already up 9.5% and December brought releases of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug and comedy Till Luck Do Us Part 2, the sequel to 2012’s No. 1 local film Até Que A Sorte Nos till luck do us partSepare by Roberto Santucci (replete with cameo by Jerry Lewis). It’s been a strong year for local comedies including André Pellenz’ Minha Mãe E Uma Peça: O Filme and Meu Passado Me Condena: O Filme. Market share for Brazilian movies in 2012 was 9.5%, which was down from the previous year. But it should be higher in 2013. Still, some are skeptical that overall sales can keep up apace in coming years. A studio exec says they have “a hard time seeing Brazil jump” any further. The country “had this big boom with a lot of local stuff, but it’s hard to see it doing it again. They’re so driven by (movies like) The Avengers. They love that stuff.” Another U.S. studio exec contends, “Brazil has slowed. The cost of exhibition is very high as they are under-screened. But local productions drive growth as do family movies like Rio.” Read More »

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UPDATE: Comcast Shares Up As Cable System Strength Outweighs NBCU Weakness And 3Q Earnings Miss

By | Wednesday November 2, 2011 @ 4:19am PDT

UPDATE, 6:45 AM: The company’s Universal studio had a lousy quarter at the box office, and the NBC broadcast network continues to struggle. But NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke told analysts in a conference call that advertising, especially at the national level, “continues to be a bright spot.” NBC has already sold 90% of the ads for the upcoming Super Bowl. The company continues to talk up its investments in programming at cable networks and NBC although Burke says it “is not a huge amount.” He says he wanted to let people know that “this would be a flattish year” for cash flow growth at NBCU as he spends for programming including the recent agreement to bring World Cup soccer to Telemundo. “We think we structured a very attractive long-term deal and don’t want to box ourselves into not being able to make those investments when they present themselves,” Burke said. At the cable operation, CEO Brian Roberts says he’s enthusiastic about tests in Augusta, Ga., of Xcalibur, a plan to deliver TV programming and data from the Internet cloud instead of a local cable headend. Comcast is testing set-top boxes including game consoles such as the Xbox and expects to have a trial in a major market in the first half of next year. With a programming guide delivered via the Internet, Roberts says Comcast can “move quickly to make tweaks and modifications. … It’s very, very exciting when you move the brains out of the box and into the cloud.”

The Street was impressed — mostly due to the cable system results. Many analysts expected to see a bigger loss in video subs. Comcast shares were up 3.6% in early trading. As for NBCU, “the core of the programming business is NBCU’s cable networks unit, and results there were good,” Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett says. “But the face of NBCU is the broadcast network, and while investors were braced for a weak result, they didn’t disappoint in disappointing.” Read More »

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UPDATE: Fox Steals World Cup TV Rights From ESPN & Telemundo Scores Too; Total Deal Could Exceed $1B

By | Friday October 21, 2011 @ 9:40am PDT

UPDATE: 12:45 PM: The Sports Business Daily is reporting that Fox will pay $450 million-$500 million for rights to the next two World Cups, and Telemundo will pay $600 million. If true, those are massive markups from … Read More »

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