European Audiovisual Observatory
Strasbourg / Milano, 12 May 2011
Europe: digital screens more than double in 2010 with 3D
as the driving force again.
Food for thought from the figures on digital screens as at 31
According to the statistics provided
by MEDIA Salles the number of European screens equipped with DLP
Cinema or SXRD technology at 31 December 2010 came to 10,346 with
a 120.9% rise compared to the previous year.
Compared to the total number of screens in Europe, at December
2010 digital screens had achieved a market penetration of 29%,
as against 13.4% the previous year (table 1).
The rate of market penetration for digital screens, where the
highest figures are to be seen in Luxembourg (73%) and in Belgium
(65%), also experiences considerable changes on the biggest markets,
reaching to beyond the European average in the United Kingdom
(38%), in Russia (38%) and in France (34%) and instead remaining
below the overall rate for Europe in Germany (27%), Italy (23%)
and Spain (19%).
The number of digital sites
in Europe at December 2010 was 4,120, with a 74.1% rise over the
previous year. The total market penetration of digital sites amounts
to around 33% as against 18.7% in December 2009. Also on the increase
is the average number of screens in digital sites which has risen
in Europe from the 1.6 screens per site registered in December
2007, to 2.5 in December 2010.
Table 1: Digital cinema screens and
sites in Europe (as at 31 December)
Source: MEDIA Salles
The average number of digital screens
per cinema varies a good deal in individual European countries.
In December 2010 the highest figures were recorded in Belgium
(6.8 screens per cinema), Luxembourg (4.8), Portugal (4.8), Austria
(4.3), Latvia (3.7), Romania (3.6), Estonia (3.5) and France (3.5)
Of the largest markets the lowest figures are to be seen in Italy
(1.9 screens per cinema), lower than the United Kingdom (3.1),
Spain (2.6) and Germany (2.2).
The biggest markets in terms of
ticket sales also have the largest percentage of digital screens
out of the overall total for Europe, so that France comes in first
place with 18.2% of Europe’s digital screens, followed by
the United Kingdom (13.6%), Germany (12.1%), Russia (9.1%), Italy
(8.8%) and Spain (7.3%).
As regards a comparison with the 2009 growth rates, the greatest
development has been seen in the Scandinavian countries, i.e.
Denmark (+444% compared to December 2009), Norway (+339%) and
Sweden (+308%). Instead, if we consider the five-year period between
2006 and 2010 the compound annual growth rate is greatest in Russia
(+293%), in Portugal (+216%) and in Finland (+206%), countries
where the number of digital screens has increased considerably,
especially up to 2009.
Table 2: Digital cinema sites and screens
in Europe by country (as at 31 December)
Source: MEDIA Salles
In Europe the development of digital
screens seems to be highly concentrated in terms of exhibition
companies in view of the fact that at December 2010 the top ten
exhibitors were responsible for 32.4% of the overall number of
digital screens. The top five players are Odeon and UCI Cinemas
Group (with 8.0% of digital screens), operating as Odeon Cinemas
in the United Kingdom, as UCI in Austria, Germany, Italy and Portugal
and as Cinesa in Spain; the French company Europalaces (4.8%),
operating in Switzerland, France and Netherlands; Cineworld Group
(3.9%), present in the United Kingdom and Ireland; CGR (3.7%)
operating in France, and Kinepolis (2.3%), present in Belgium,
France and Spain.
As in 2009 3D cinema was again the
motor for growth: the penetration of screens equipped with 3D
technology with respect to the overall number of digital screens
has continued to increase, with the only exception of Spain, rising
from 74% in December 2009 to 81.5% in December 2010.
In some countries in Central
and Eastern Europe, such as Croatia, Lithuania, Serbia and Slovenia,
where the number of digital cinemas is still modest, as well as
in Iceland, 3D screens represent 100% of total digital screens.
In many countries the penetration of 3D digital screens compared
to the total number of digital screens is over 90%: Russia (99.6%),
Turkey (98.5%), Hungary (98.2%), Sweden (96.8%), Poland (95.7%),
Denmark (95.6%), Switzerland (94%), Bulgaria (93%), Italy (92.3%),
Finland (92%), the Netherlands (91.7%), Greece (91.5%), the Czech
Republic (91%) and Latvia (90.9%). The percentage is, however,
lower in the United Kingdom, where it grew from 71.1% in December
2009 to 77.9% in December 2010, and in France, where it rose from
69.4% to 74.5%.
- Data have been collected by MEDIA Salles.
- Europe is defined as the 34 countries covered by MEDIA Salles
with regard to digital cinema data.
The European Audiovisual
Observatory, Council of Europe
Set up in December 1992, the European Audiovisual Observatory's
mission is to gather and distribute information on the audiovisual
industry in Europe. The Observatory is a European public service
body comprised of 36 member states and the European Community,
represented by the European Commission. It operates within the
legal framework of the Council of Europe and works alongside a
number of partner and professional organisations from within the
industry and with a network of correspondents. In addition to
contributions to conferences, other major activities are the publication
of a Yearbook, newsletters and reports, the compilation and management
of databases and the provision of information through the Observatory's
Internet site (http://www.obs.coe.int).
The MEDIA Salles project has been operating since 1991 within
the framework of the European Union's MEDIA Programme, with the
support of the Italian Government. MEDIA Salles fosters the theatrical
distribution of European films. This aim is pursued both by events
involving Europe's cinema exhibitors and by initiatives to raise
the visibility of European productions with industry players and
potential audiences. Current initiatives from MEDIA Salles dovetail
in a programme with a triple focus - training, promotion and information.
Training initiatives are specifically aimed at exhibitors and
include professional courses on digital cinema. Information services
include the European Cinema Yearbook and the DGT online informer,
the newsletter focusing on digital cinema.
at the European Audiovisual Observatory:
André Lange (Head of Department, Information on Markets
firstname.lastname@example.org - tel.: +33 (0) 3 90 21 60 00
Contact at MEDIA Salles:
Elisabetta Brunella (Secretary General)
- tel.: +39 02 67 39 7823