Italian Cinema 2022: Quantity Vs. Quality–Too Many Movies Made? Lack of Younger Viewers?

Italian Industry “Must Prioritize Quality” Over Quantity to Solve Current Box Office “Crisis”

Leading members of Italy’s film industry discussed problems, and possible solutions, for current challenges.


“The Italian movies we selected [this year] are great, in some cases excellent. However, it doesn’t seem to me that there has been an investment in quality overall,” Barbera said. “The quantity of this year’s productions is exorbitant compared to our market and the capacity of platforms to incorporate them.”

Too Many Movies Made

But if too many Italian movies are being made, it is clear that too few people are coming out to watch them.

Box office in Italy has not bounced back from its COVID slump and Italian movies in particular have had a hard time finding an audience.

While studios’ titles have been popular–Universal’s animated hit Minions: The Rise of Gru grossed some $10 million in Italy after just two weeks in release–most local films have struggled or failed.

Leading figures in the Italian film industry gathered in Venice at conference organized by Angelo Argento of the Cultura Italiae association, to debate the causes, and possible solutions, for the country’s cinema “crisis.”

Paolo del Brocco, CEO of Italian Rai Cinema, argued that theaters and online streaming platforms “need to work together” to solve the problem. While acknowledging that platforms “have allowed our market to grow,” it was time “to think of movie theaters again.”

Nicola Maccanico, CEO of Italian production hub Cinecittà, suggested streaming platforms do their part to protect theaters, “because they know that movie theaters, as place and experience, are important to everyone.” The industry needs to put its focus on bringing audiences back to cinemas though, he said. “It’s not enough, as it sometimes is done, to simply invite people to come back.”

“We need clear-cut rules to protect theaters. We must not forget that, in our country, cinema has always been a lab for talents,” added Giampaolo Letta, CEO of Medusa Film, a leading Italian producer-distributor. He called for a simplification of the rules around film subsidies in Italy and “tools to best control the allocated resources.”

Challenge: Connecting with Young Viewers

Cinema is great resource for both film and streaming industries, noted Francesco Rutelli, president of national audiovisual association ANICA. But the focus has to be on what audiences want. “It’s in everyone’s, in our country’s, interest, to bring the film industry back to a central position,” Rutelli said.

“The question that no one seems to ask is different: What does the public think? What are the movies that could actually interest them?”