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Prince To Prince

‘Black Panther’ Heads To House of Saud

Two weeks after the Saudi Crown Prince met with the head of Walt Disney in Los Angeles…a Disney movie, featuring a groundbreaking prince, headlines as the first movie shown in Saudi Arabia in 35 years.

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Why Now?

  • 32-year-old Saudi Crown Prince recently toured U.S., meeting the most powerful Americans in business and politics.
  • Movie theaters are part of Prince’s “Vision 2030” plan to reform Saudi Arabia & diversify economy.
  • Movie industry estimated to bring in $30B & 30,000 jobs by 2030.
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Money & Politics

  • Majority of the Saudi kingdom under age of 25.
  • 32-year-old Crown Prince is a millennial himself and could rule for the rest of our lifetimes.
  • Domestic Priority: HIGH unemployment (esp for youth).
  • Economy: Dependent on oil.
  • Reforms geared towards the young but keeping the Saudi royal kingdom intact.
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Something To Consider:

  • Saudi Arabia may allow American movies, or partner w/U.S. in certain areas of foreign policy, but its not a democracy.
  • Saudi Arabia home to 2 holiest sites in Islam – important to entire Muslim world – millions make pilgrimages to sites.
  • Other Muslim nations like Bahrain and United Arab Emirates *already* show movies.
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So Why Outlaw Movies?

  • Saudi Arabia outlawed movies in 1979 because of a strict adherence to conservative Islam.
  • Saudi Arabia is still an Islamic monarchy.  Movies will undergo censorship of some sort – unclear how severe.
  • Experts ask if “reforms” are real or simply superficial.
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“Films are slightly edited and modified to reflect sensitivity to the local culture here in the region. But even with those modest edits — you can imagine what they are, sexuality and nudity are out — but we believe that those edits will be quite modest.”

Adam Aron, AMC Chief Executive, to CNBC April 18, 2018. He said the company "rushed in" when they heard of an opportunity in Saudi Arabia.
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AMC plan to open 40 theaters over the next 5 years in Saudi Arabia. Next movies? "Rampage" & "The Avengers"

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