Moviebox & Lansdowne Capital Partners Announce Portuguese Complex, as Studio Plans Proliferate

Moviebox & Lansdowne Capital Partners have announced a €60million ($66 million) investment in developing a state-of-the-art film and media complex in the Algarve region of southern Portugal, headed by former Pinewood director Dave Godfrey. Based in the municipality of Loulé, the “vast complex” will host streaming platform Moviebox Premiere itself and “world class production facilities,” Moviebox announced Friday.

In positing what it describes as a “vast complex,” Moviebox Premiere is hardly alone. A Berlinale trend this year was the  escalation in new big studio announcements. Reasons cut various ways.

Incentives have proliferated given a “growing recognition among governments of the valuable effects that film and high-end television drama production can bring,” Leon Ford wrote in Olsberg-SPI’s November 2019 Global Incentives Index, which details 98 such schemes around the world.

In such a context, however, “Certain markets are becoming prohibitively expensive to produce in, which would include the U.S. and to a lesser extent the U.K.,” says Guy Bisson at Ampere Analysis. “International productions makes a lot of sense. You can make high-quality drama for much, much lower budgets.”

So relatively cost-efficient countries are trying to cash in, either building or expanding studio facilities (Madrid Content City, Italy’s Apulia Studios, Hungary’s Mafilm) or investing directly in content production (MediaNet Partners, backing El Estudio).

Just how many studio projects get across the finishing line s another question. An international studio surge is, however, most definitely game on.