Thursday, February 22, 2007

European cinema attendance and local films on the rise

Provisional figures from the European Audiovisual Observatory show that cinema attendance has grown over the past year, with local cinema finding more audiences. Total admissions in the 25 member states of the European Union rose by around 4% in relation to the preceding year, with 17 out of the 20 countries for which data is available registering a positive change. In major markets, Germany and France saw increases of over 7%. Spain and the UK were down somewhat. The most impressive gains were in Lithuania (+98%) while Estonia (+40.2%) and Latvia (+22.7%) also showed impressive increases. Double-digit growth was registered in Austria (+10.6%), the Czech Republic (+21.4%), Finland (+11.5%) and Slovenia (+10.8%), whilst preliminary results in the Slovak Republic (+ 54.3%) are the best since 1998.

The market share of local films also brought good news. France leads the way with 45%, only slightly less than the figure for US films (45.8%). Germany had the highest national market share since analyses began in 1991. Other countries reporting improved market shares for domestic films included Finland, where local films accounted for 23% of admissions, up from 15% in 2005 and the best result since 1999. Three out of sixteen domestic titles released during the year claimed a place in the annual Top 10, led by Aleksi Mäkelä's ski jump champion biopic "Matti - Hell is for Heroes" (photo). Domestic films also figured in the Top 10 in Estonia, where the success of two children's titles, animation "Lotte from Gadgetville" (an Estonian-Latvian co-production) and comedy "Ruudi" (an Estonian-Finnish-German co-production), brought national market share to just over 9%. In Slovenia the 10% market share registered is the highest since records began. Other Central and Eastern European countries registering improved national market shares included the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania.

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