Cartoon Masters: Cartoon Feature 2008
Since the creation of Cartoon Movie 10 years ago, a record of 123 European films were produced for a cumulative budget of 800 million Euros (in the previous decade, only 52 animated films were made). Twenty percent of these films clocked up more than one million admissions throughout Europe and audience numbers have increased six-fold in the past three years to reach today's 25 million filmgoers. These figures constitute a remarkable achievement for the European animation industry as a whole, and in particular for the studios which have successfully managed to go from TV series to animated features. They are also an acknowledgement by the public at large that animation is a popular story-telling genre - that happens to use animation rather than live action techniques. The acclaimed WALTZ WITH BASHIR, a co-production between Israel, France and Germany evidences this assertion. So following a decade of growth in the animated feature industry a new cycle is starting, opening up challenges and opportunities: In a clustered movie market suffering from audience dispersion, marketing techniques need to adapt to the new consumption modes whilst 3-D stereoscopic as well as digital cinema could well provide increased revenues for animated features. In the U.S. for instance where 3-D films generate 3 times the per screen revenue of conventional releases, Disney and DreamWorks Animation will be releasing their entire slates of films in 3-D as of next year. Digital prints are also expected to facilitate multiple and flexible distribution across borders, on VOD platforms and IPTV. As legal offers multiply, film piracy should also be contained. Thanks to new national and European tax incentives, smaller markets like Belgium, Ireland and Denmark are becoming significant players in the feature industry -- developing projects with an international scope and also low cost budget films. Cartoon Feature will be looking into these latest developments from a European perspective and our panel of experts will continue to present through case studies and recent films, new business models and changing relationships between producers and distributors.