It was a hectic pre-market day at NATPE Budapest 2017 with an early morning Warner Bros. Screenings on Monday, June 19 that continued after lunch, followed by an afternoon Lionsgate Screenings that was preceded by their own cocktails.
Warner Bros. featured seven new shows in the morning and two after lunch. Lionsgate screened 14 promos and two full episodes. The studios each had between 80 and 100 buyers.
Three studios took turns screening at the Puskin Theater (Warner Bros, CBS and NBCUni), while Fox screened at the Toldi Theater (pictured above), and Lionsgate at one of the InterContinental meeting rooms.
All U.S. studios participated at this NATPE Budapest, with Sony also sponsoring the opening night party on Tuesday, and Disney, MGM and Paramount renting large suites (these latter ones did not have general screenings).
Then, at the market itself, 140 exhibition companies were split between the stands, tables and the suites on the second floor –– opening up for business with over 400 registered buyers.
Two big trends are worth noting about this year’s event: This time, indie exhibitors were not complaining about the studios’ off-site screenings taking away buyers from the market, and there was a dwindling presence of Latin American companies, which years ago constituted the exhibition’s lion share. This year, only six Latin sellers remained as exhibitors, but Latin TV’s main competitors, the Turkish companies, had somewhat diminished their presence, too, to five. That said, it’s clear NATPE Budapest is still their favorite market event. Perhaps, it helps that the Turks have direct Istanbul-Budapest flights just like how the Chinese have direct flights from Beijing (they also have a large presence at NATPE Budapest). Similarly, both the Italians (with five exhibitors) and the Canadians (with six) increased their participation compared to past editions. As usual, dominating the market were the Americans (with 26 exhibitors) and the British (with 20).
Exhibitors at the market averaged a total of 30 meetings each. Numbers were confirmed by Breakthrough’s Jodi Mackie and Caracol’s Paloma Garcia, who also reported busy pre-market activities on Monday with many meetings held in the hotel’s lobby.