As the world’s second-largest movie market, Africa is an ideal location for a movie theater.
But it’s not a perfect fit.
While it’s far from being a full-blown entertainment center, it’s also not as sprawling as Hollywood.
“We have a very small footprint,” says Robert L. Bresnahan, executive vice president of the Entertainment Industry Association.
“In terms of space, we have the size of a football stadium.”
The problem is that movies tend to have a long run.
As part of the Africa Film Festival, Bresnanahan and his colleagues are looking to build a bigger theater.
The theater would be a $2 billion, five-story structure that would feature five movie screens.
Bressanahan is hoping to attract major studios to the project.
And to be fair, the proposed theater would also feature a restaurant and other amenities that wouldn’t be typical of movie theaters in the United States or Europe.
A $3.4 billion theater at the same location would be built by a group led by The Bresnick Group, a venture capital firm with an emphasis on film production.
It has invested in some of Africa’s top film productions, including the blockbuster “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and the “Sugarman” remake.
But Bresanahan says his company is also working with partners to create a $3 billion movie theater in Lagos.
That’s a lot of money.
“I don’t know that it’s ever going to be possible to make a movie anywhere in Africa at $3bn,” he says.
The Bresten Group, which is also looking to make movie theaters, has a similar vision.
The company’s CEO, Jim Breslow, told Ars he thinks Africa has more room for entertainment than Hollywood, but he says it will be much less expensive than the $6 billion theater that’s proposed.
He says he hopes to get investors on board for the project and that it could be ready for the 2020 Olympics.
Brestens movie theaters aren’t the only ones exploring movie theaters for Africa.
Several Hollywood studios have recently been making films in the country.
Disney and Paramount recently partnered on a film about African leaders and political leaders that’s being filmed in Lagas.
And Sony Pictures has been developing a movie in Lagom, a coastal city in the east of the country, that’s scheduled to open in 2019.
“There are so many different ways that movie theaters can be used for the benefit of the community,” Bresney says.
“That’s why it’s important for African communities to understand how they can support the industry and help make movies here.”