Russian chains Karo Cinemas and Kinomax have announced a joint venture to further develop their combined cinema advertising market. The cinema advertising venture will reach Karo and Kinomax’s combined 530 screens, spread across Karo’s 32 cinemas and Kinomax’s 36. The combined synergies of Karo and Kinomax offer country-wide coverage to advertising clients, as Kinomax has the widest regional network in Russia and Karo is the leading cinema operator in Moscow, with a strong presence in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city, as well.
The joint venture will also provide advertising sales and services to other Russian cinema circuits.
Karo’s screen advertising revenue has doubled since 2018. In Q1 2020 Karo achieved a 32 percent increase in ad revenue compared to Q1 2019. In 2019, screen advertising sales in Russia were estimated at $14M USD. Total national admissions for Russia in 2019 were 219 million, generating $853M USD in box office.
Paul Heth, executive chairman and CEO of the Karo Group, and Olga Zinyakova, Karo Cinemas president, said in a joint statement: “We are pleased to announce this innovative partnership with Kinomax and strongly believe that by combining our screen advertising sales we will be able to offer our clients a high-impact, market-wide advertising solution with guaranteed high-volume coverage and high quality of placement. Our long-standing partners are interested in expanding the audience reach of their advertising opportunities. The Russian cinema market is Europe’s largest in terms of attendance, and despite all the difficulties posed by the Covid pandemic we are confident that audiences will again return to the magic of storytelling on the big screen.” They note Karo’s anticipation of the 2020 holiday season and 2011, with its “return of high-profile blockbusters and movies for families and patrons of all age.”
Kinomax CEO Dmitry Nartov added: “We see prospects in our new strategic partnership,” which he is confident will “open new doors for both companies, as by combining our advertising capabilities both Karo and Kinomax become even more interesting for advertisers.” This is particularly true, he notes, given that “Kinomax is the most widely represented cinema chain in the regions of Russia [and] was visited by more than 16 million viewers in 2019. This year has been a tough test of strength for all of us. Almost all of the planned blockbusters have left the film distribution for the next year. And we very much anticipate the return of audiences this Christmas and on into 2021.”