The largest cinemas in the world are continuing to grow—despite the increasing popularity of streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon and HBO Go. China’s cinema industry, for example, introduced 9,303 screens in 2018 alone. While there are 5.9 cinema screens per 100,000 people in Qatar, lower screens per capita compared to USA (12.4 screens per 100,000 people) for example, there are massive opportunities for growth. And the Gulf region is also witnessing a booming period in the cinema industry with the number of screens set to jump 38.4 percent in the next 3-5 years across the Middle East according to a report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC).
And the movie-goer culture in Qatar and across the region doesn’t show signs of a slowdown. On the weekend, it’s a main activity for families and friends alike. And with creative talent in the Gulf rising, and increased opportunities for local filmmakers and content creators to distribute their works, movie theaters as a platform are being increasingly sought-after.
The potential of the cinema industry in the MENA region really boils down to the offering. If the brand is innovative and digitally evolving with today’s needs while paying close attention to the demographics and preferences of its consumer base—there’s a gleaming opportunity.
Novo Cinemas’ value proposition for developers and investors
With the optimistic forecasts of the industry, more and more real estate developers and investors are turning to Novo Cinemas to increase profit. The main driving force behind Novo’s success and contribution to the growing entertainment sector, is the experience it offers. Novo Cinemas doesn’t offer a standard one-size fits all experience, but one that is tailored to the preferences and needs of the customers. It’s not only the personalized services—like a butler and dining menu with diverse options—that distinguishes Novo from its competitors. Each of Novo’s theaters showcase a unique personality: Souq Waqif’s branch, showcasing an interior with a traditional look and feel in line with the Souq’s iconic architecture, is only one example of how each of the branches are adapted to the environment they operate in. Whereas, Novo Cinemas at Mall of Qatar showcases a very modern interior and a high technology cinema theatre that perfectly blends with MoQ’s interior and nature.
Novo’s presence and regional reputation have created a strong, leading brand that’s secured customer loyalty. For real estate developers and landlords, the ‘Virtuous Circle of Growth’ approach puts the mutually beneficial growth of the real estate development at the heart of what we do. Novo isn’t only adding value to their development by attracting high-spending footfall (over 6 million movie-goers each year) but our strong brand image and reputation as the most innovative movie theater in the Middle East actually elevates their reputation and image in the face of the consumer. Through innovation and technology, Novo delivers award-winning entertainment experiences recognized across the region as a favorite destination.
Novo’s model has also proved to be attractive to investors. They own the cinema, and Novo’s team runs it for them. They benefit from Novo’s strong brand name, reputation, and established base of loyal customers that continuously choose Novo as the ultimate movie-going destination.
The full marketing and operational support that Novo provides, including staffing, training, movie programming, movie distributor relations and concessions, make the opportunity even more appealing. Novo’s marketing infrastructure encompasses social media awareness, website content, mobile application, CRM analytics, event support and Novo’s training program ensures that the franchisee gets the full support they need prior and after opening their cinemas.
Novo’s outlook on the future of cinema and the movie-goer culture is optimistic, and the projected growth in the region is only one factor of that outlook. We deploy 2D, 3D, 4D, IMAX with laser, ATMOS and luxury 7-star VIP suites at our theaters that make the decision between streaming at home and making a trip to the movies an easy one. With the movie-going culture alive and kicking, the industry is growing and expanding, and cinemas have a bright future as an entertainment destination.