The Global Circulation of Italian Cinema

As this infographic illustrates, there is an almost perfect correlation between the ten most popular Italian films globally and the top ten in Europe, between 2007 and 2016. As well as the recurrent case of Woody Allen’s To Rome with Love (2012), a majority Italian co-production, both top tens include films by Luca Guadagnino, Paolo Sorrentino, Matteo Garrone and Nanni Moretti. In addition to auteur cinema, another genre that should not be underestimated is the animated film, and specifically several episodes of the Winx Club saga created and directed by Iginio Straffi.

Comparing Italian film’s successes abroad with those in the domestic market, on the other hand, what is immediately striking is the total lack of coherence. Italian audiences are very attentive toward comedies, favouring in particular three Checco Zalone films, the sequels Benvenuti al sud/Welcome to the South (2010) and Benvenuti al nord/Welcome to the North (2012), both directed by Luca Miniero, and several Christmas films. While popular cinema and comedies in particular are greatly appreciated in Italy, auteur cinema remains the most exported genre to international markets (albeit it has a limited impact on the European and global markets).