An initiative of the EU MEDIA Programme with the support of the Italian Government
Since 1992 MEDIA Salles has been promoting the European cinema and its circulation at theatrical level




22 May 2006


Results were improving at the end of the year, although not sufficiently to recover all the spectators who had been lost during the opening months of 2005 and eliminate the minus sign for a year that remains generally negative throughout Europe.
This is what emerges from the up-date on cinema-going published in the MEDIA Salles’ Newsletter, “European Cinema Journal” no. 2/2006, presented today in Cannes by the President Domenico Dinoia, at the aperitif that has become the traditional occasion for professional players and journalists in the sector to meet.
2005 was a very difficult year, then, particularly when compared to the one immediately preceding it, with an average drop in Western Europe bordering on 11%, and with the five leading markets losing over 80 million spectators, closing at a little less than 700 million tickets sold.
It should not, however, be forgotten that 2004 was generally-speaking an exceptionally good year.
For this reason the Secretary General of MEDIA Salles, Elisabetta Brunella, in an article commenting on the figures, goes into the issue in greater depth, observing that “with regard to Western Europe, 2005 can be re-interpreted by distinguishing the markets that have nonetheless maintained part of the growth in audiences achieved between 2003 and 2004 – or, at least, record results similar to the first few years of the new century – from those which, instead, have returned to the results of the ‘Nineties”.
Alongside markets that share the most serious drop recorded in Western Europe, equal to (or even above) -20%, such as Liechtenstein, Austria, and Germany, which loses almost 30 million tickets, there are countries which, instead, stand up better to the general decrease, such as a large market like Great Britain (-3.3%) and Ireland (-5%), both of which, despite a decrease in spectators, achieve one of the best results since the beginning of the new century.
Italy, although seeing a 9.3% drop, manages to keep audiences above the 2003 figures, accompanied by France (-10.8%) and Denmark (-4.7%), which attain the same results, or almost the same, as in 2003.
In a generally negative situation what is, then, the explanation for these more encouraging results?
“More detailed analyses – states Brunella –, which can be made when the data now available is replaced by final and complete figures, will make it possible to confirm if the role of domestic films which, in the three countries just mentioned, traditionally enjoy higher market shares than the average for Western Europe, also lies behind this better performance”.
Domenico Dinoia, recalling the main events organized by MEDIA Salles in 2005 and in the first part of 2006 – including “Italian Cinema Worldwide” and “DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for European Cinemas” – reconfirmed MEDIA Salles’ future commitment to the promotion of European films, alongside the exhibitors.
Welcoming with keen interest the promise of the European Commissioner Viviane Reding, to “do everything possible to allow European films to count on firm support from the EU,” Dinoia commented that today, more than ever, European cinema is in need of this help.

MEDIA Salles, a project operating within the framework of the European Union's MEDIA Programme, with the support of the Italian Government, fosters theatrical distribution of European audiovisual products, both by high profile campaigns involving Europe's cinema exhibitors and by initiatives to raise the visibility of European productions with industry players and potential audiences, creating specialized information channels on a global scale. Thus the current initiatives from MEDIA Salles dovetail in a program with a triple focus – training, promotion and information – and maximum combined effect.

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