EghtesadOnline: Although the price of cinema tickets in Iran is among the cheapest in the world, the number of Iranian movie-goers is small compared to many neighboring countries, let alone famous movie-producing countries.
Each Iranian annually goes to the movies 0.3 times on average. This is while the average ticket price in Iran is $1.8, while it is $11.5 in Kuwait and $12 in the UAE. On average, 25.5 million movie tickets are sold in Iran every year, grossing $45.5 million.
The total box office sales in Iran are less than one-fourth of those in the UAE, a country whose population is eight times smaller than Iran’s, Financial Tribune’s sister publication Donya-e-Eqtesad reported.
Interestingly, more than 97% of ticket sales in Iran pertain to domestic films, unlike many other countries, Financial Tribune reported.
According to a report published by the Persian daily Hamshahri in June 2017, Iran has 195 movie theaters, 62 multiplexes, eight movie halls and 14 cultural centers affiliated to municipalities with 415 screens and 129,123 seats.
Not surprisingly, the capital Tehran has the largest number of theaters in the country with 147 screens, followed by Isfahan and Khorasan Razavi provinces with 27 and 26, respectively.
The average movie screens in the 31 Iranian provinces is 13 and only eight provinces, namely Isfahan, Alborz, East Azarbaijan, Tehran, Khorasan Razavi, Khuzestan, Fars and Mazandaran, have more cinemas than the average number.
With 80 million people, there is one cinema for 286,474 Iranians and one screen for 192,593 people. The ratio of population to movie theaters has decreased by 7% annually from the fiscal year ending March 2006 to last year (ended March 2017). Figures also show there are 120,123 seats in 415 movie screens and the ratio of population to seat is 618:1, the report added.
The paper noted that 72 screens and 12,451 seats were added to film theaters from 2013 to 2016.
Private companies and individuals own 27% of the movie theaters while the whopping 73% belong to government or semi-government organizations.
The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and affiliated organizations, including Farabi Cinema Foundation, Cinema City Institute and Iranian Youth Cinema Society, possess 31.2% of the cinemas.
However, the seating capacity created by the private sector is higher than that of the ministry, as 32.6% of the cinema capacity are owned by the private sector. The same capacity created by municipalities is a meager 9.4%.