Johannesburg - Since its release on 4 September, the South African romantic film Tell Me Sweet Something has delivered a solid box office performance. This is indicative of the growing South African film industry.
Initially, Ster-Kinekor Theatres released this film on 29 screens countrywide, which is more screens than is the norm for larger international films. Ster-Kinekor also provided marketing for the film, giving support that an international film generating twice the actual box office of Tell Me Sweet Something would normally receive.
It is four weeks since release, and the film is still currently showing on 13 screens, which is a wider release than usual when taking the current box office performance of the film into consideration. To date the film has grossed nearly R2m across all cinema brands.
By screening this film in more cinemas than is the equivalent Hollywood benchmark is testimony to Ster-Kinekor’s ongoing support of films produced locally. Similarly, the disproportionate investment in marketing support from Ster-Kinekor, is indicative of the country’s largest exhibitor’s commitment to the South African film industry and the films it produces.
There has been commentary in the industry regarding why the film was pulled from screens at Ster-Kinekor Gateway (Durban) and Sandton, in particular. The facts are as follows:
• Tell Me Sweet Something enjoyed as much screen time (two and three weeks respectively) at these two sites as would be afforded an equivalent Hollywood film
• At the time of its removal from these two sites, the film was performing at almost half the size of the next lowest performing film at those complexes
• As stated, the film is still being screened at some of Ster-Kinekor’s larger cinema complexes including Sterland (one of the biggest cinemas in the country), The Zone and Eastgate. It will continue to play at these sites until at least the end of next week (08 October) and Ster-Kinekor will continue to screen the film for as long as there are audiences who want to watch in cinemas
Will continue to support local films
"As Ster-Kinekor, we are as committed as the film producers and distributors to ensuring that this country enjoys a thriving home-grown film industry. It remains in Ster-Kinekor’s best interests not to have to rely solely on content from Hollywood and other international players to drive local box office returns,” states John Sikiotis Managing Executive of Ster-Kinekor Theatres.
"Thus, Ster-Kinekor will continue to give support and attention to good South African films that are released on its circuit. It is also committed to continue offering disproportionate marketing and scheduling support, as it did with Tell Me Sweet Something, to forthcoming local films such as Ayanda (2 October) and Dis ek, Anna (23 October).
Over the past three years, Ster-Kinekor has released nearly 50 locally produced films on its circuit, and each of these has received disproportionate commitment in terms of marketing and scheduling support. This year alone, audiences have already enjoyed 8 South African films that have released at Ster-Kinekor, and there are currently another 4 titles lined up for the last quarter of this year.
"We believe that the future of the South African cinema industry, which is in an already healthy state, will rely on the collective efforts of filmmakers and producers, distributors and exhibitors alike, to ensure that the many great South African stories out there are translated into film and shown to growing audiences on the big screen. This is a global trend and is evident in markets such as China and Russia where local content is driving overall cinema growth.
"As a business, and as a popular South African brand, Ster-Kinekor remains fully committed to the business imperative that local films have a crucial role to play within our industry. We will continue to promote and drive the success of these titles using our platforms, as we collaborate with South African filmmakers to put South African stories in the spotlight on the global cinema screens," comments Sikiotis.
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