1 June 2017

Congo-Brazzaville: The Slow but Steady Rise of New African Cinemas - Congo-Brazzaville Cinema MTN Movies House Triples Attendance Every 3 Month

London — There has been a slow but steady increase in the number of cinemas in Africa, starting from a very low base. Last week we covered Filmhouse in Nigeria and in Cote d'Ivoire in 2015, 3 new cinemas were opened by a young local entrepreneur Jean-Marc Bejani. We also relayed the launch of CanalOlympia cinemas across West Africa. This week we look at the rise in cinema attendances at a new cinema in Congo Brazzaville called MTN Movies House.

On 22 May 2017 Cinebox unveiled its attendance figures for its new cinema MTN Movies House in the heart of Le Plateau in Brazzaville. Open for 40 weeks, it claims attendance has tripled every month for its diverse and accessible programme of 90 films.

"The constant increase in attendance demonstrates the enthusiasm of the Brazzaville for cinema. It is also proof that there is a real boom in the cultural industries in Central Africa. This dynamic is illustrated by the relaunch of the culture of cinema in the Congo. We are very proud, "said Rominic Oniangué, director of Cinebox.

MTN Movies House allowed the Congolese public to discover for the first time international box office successes. The five most successful film (including one Ivorian film) were:

1. Welcome to the Gondwana of Mamane (Côte d'Ivoire - France)

2. Fast and Furious 8 by F. Gary Gray (USA)

3. Rogue One: a Star Wars Story by Gareth Edwards III (USA)

4. Hidden Figures by Theodore Melfi (US)

5. 50 Shades Darker by James Foley Darker (US)

Each of these films was sold out in the first weekend of screening and remained in theaters for over three weeks.

"Welcome to Mamane's Gondwana is at the top of our audience record. It is a veritable plebiscite! Beyond that, it confirms that African films have their full place in cinemas in Africa, "says Gilles-Laurent Massamba, managing director of Cinebox.

Watch African comedian Mamane on his political satire, the Very, Very Democratic Republic of Gondwana

In line with its strategy of promoting African film industries, many Pan-African films such as Ramata de Léandre-Alain Baker, Françoise Ellon's Waka or Richi Mbebélé's Grave Mistake were also screened by Cinebox.

Cinebox is a Congolese distribution and cinema company operating MTN Movies House, a 200-seat cinema venue located in the Congolese capital, in the heart of the 15-year-old Plateau.

Cinebox says it wants to participate in the emergence of a quality African film industry. In addition to offering a diversified program of films that is accessible to all audiences, Cinebox offers training cycles to the audiovisual technical professions in order to promote the actors of the cultural scene in Africa.

The opening of MTN Movies House marks the first step in a long-term vision that will see Cinebox develop integrated leisure complexes dedicated to entertainment and training.

Source: Agence 35 ° Nord - May 22, 2017.

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