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Jakarta Post

Indonesia’s cinema industry next big scene

  • Dylan Amirio

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 26, 2016   /  08:49 am
Indonesia’s cinema industry next big scene Two visitors sit in the lobby of a cinema in Jakarta. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

In Indonesia, there are only 1,117 cinema screens serving a population of some 250 million people.

Despite being the largest economy in Southeast Asia, Indonesia has one of the least penetrated cinema markets in the world, and that is attracting investors to put their money into it, especially with the recent opening up to foreign investment in the film industry.

Lippo Group’s Cinemaxx cinema operator expects to triple its movie screens to around 250 this year as part of its greater ambition to create a network of theaters with 2,000 screens across 85 cities in 10 years.

CGV Blitz last year was acquired by South Korean firm CJ CGV Co. Ltd, with the plan to quadruple its number of screens in Indonesia to 600 by 2020. Cinemaxx and Blitz are two major players in the local cinema industry, albeit their market share is still below that of Cinema 21 Group, which controls about threequarters of the pie.

Association of Indonesian Film Producers (APROFI) chairperson and film producer Sheila Timothy sees the investment trend as a natural result of Indonesia’s rising middle class and the largely untapped movie ticket market.

“Compared to ours, the cinema markets in South Korea or in the US are stagnating. The film-going culture here is alright, but what people are seeing is the opportunity to take this large share,” Sheila said on Wednesday.

With a population one-fifth of Indonesia’s South Korea has twice as many screens, according to data from the Korean Film Council quoted by Reuters.

CGV Blitz’s marketing and planning development head Trisiska “Noni” Hapsari said that CGV’s expansion was driven by the desire to strengthen the cinema infrastructure to address the large opportunity presented by the relatively small number of movie screens throughout Indonesia.

The chain hopes to have six to eight new outlets by the end of the year, in cities such as Jakarta; Manado, North Sulawesi; Mojokerto, East Java; and Purwokerto, Central Java.

The Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) estimates that the recent removal of certain sectors from the nation’s negative investment list, signed by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Tuesday, will help efforts to hit the investment target of Rp 594.8 trillion (US$43.6 billion) by the end of this year.

Under the new regulations, foreign investors can fully own local cinemas, film production houses and distribution firms.

Indian-based ticketing and entertainment platform BookMyShow is among the latest challengers seeking to enter the Indonesian cinema market, hoping to get a slice of a sector that has seen increasing interest from the public and overseas investors.

The platform, which has been operating its website in beta mode in Indonesia since December, has inked partnerships with several cinema chains large and small such as CGVBlitz, Golden Theater, Platinum Cineplex and New Star, along with several single-screen theaters in East Java.

BookMyShow cofounder Sudhir Syal attributed the reason for its entrance into the Indonesian market to Indonesia’s low screen per capita ratio of 0.2, with many opportunities remaining untapped in regional areas.

Around 35 percent of the 1,117 cinema screens available in Indonesia are centered in the Greater Jakarta area.

“We feel that there is no growth in Jakarta’s cinema industry because it has become too saturated. The real demand, the real potential for growth that can be tapped comes from outside of Jakarta, where in places like Jember or Kediri a singlescreen cinema is the only form of entertainment,” Syal said.

“I think that true growth and what makes this market attractive to foreign players lies in this fact,” he added. BookMyShow will officially launch its services at the start of June, along with a new mobile app.

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