Reg. Trib. Milano n. 418 del 02.07.2007 - Direttore responsabile: Elisabetta Brunella

International Edition No. 174 - year 15 - 24 December 2020

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Dear Readers,

Prottithis issue, published on Christmas Eve, brings you our best wishes for the coming festivities and for the New Year.

Our message, coming at a time when Europe's cinemas are closed or - if open -subject to many restrictions, assumes special significance: we wish you good health - of course - but also a rapid and safe return to "real" cinema, on the big screen.

2020, we knew, had been a very difficult year for the cinema industry. We anticipated the results for the first nine months in the November issue: they showed a reduction in box office varying between 30% and 50%, according to the markets. We return to the subject in more detail today, already knowing that the improvement we had hoped for and expected over the Christmas period will not take place.

We therefore cannot help regarding the future of the exhibition industry with apprehension, though in the awareness that the lack of cinema has been keenly felt by audiences at all latitudes.

"Europe meets at the cinema" was the motto that accompanied the launch of MEDIA Salles in far-off 1991.

I trust that soon cinemas will once again be meeting places for all those who love the cinema - those who work in it and those who watch it.

I trust that all those who in these months of lockdown have discovered how important it is to do something "normal" like going out and seeing a film at the cinema, will soon be able to take a seat in front of the big screen again…

very soon,

Paolo Protti,

We wish you a peaceful Christmas and a better 2021, when the message that has always accompanied MEDIA Salles' work
will once again become a reality:

Vi auguriamo un sereno Natale e un 2021 migliore, in cui torni
ad essere una realtà il messaggio che da sempre accompagna
l'attività di MEDIA Salles:


In de bioscoop komt Europa bij elkaar

Eiropa satiekas kinoteātros

Eurooppa yhdistyy elokuvateattereissa

Evrópa sameinast med kvikmyndum

L-Ewropa tintaqa 'fiċ-ċinema

Európa sa stretáva v kine

Europe gets together in the cinema

L'Europa si incontra al cinema

L'Europe se rencontre au cinéma

Europa möts pĺ bio

Euroopa kohtub kinos

Evropa se schází v kině

Europa samles i biografen

Europa susitinka kino teatre

En los cines se reencuentra Europa

Nos cinemas encontra-se a Europa

Europa kommt im Kino zusammen

Európa a moziban találkozik

Europa spotyka się w kinie

Evropa se sreča v kinu

Europa mřtes pĺ kino

Avrupa, sinemayla biraraya geliyor

If you wish to add the translation of "Europe gets together in the cinema" in your language, please send an email to




Collapse of public attendance at the continent's first 6 markets: lockdown has been accompanied by a lack of films. The only exception is Nolan's picture

Though not unexpected, Europe's box office figures for the first nine months of the Covid year are no less worrying.
The countries for which figures are known, and which include the continent's 6 leading markets*, record drastic plunges. At 4 October 2020, countries that have better managed to contain their losses calculate around half the box office for the same period in 2019.

Turkey, which in "happier" days is worth approximately 200 million euros with 70 million tickets, managed to secure 51% of its 2019 box office. The Netherlands obtained 49%, for a market that had been developing without interruption over the previous twelve years and in 2019 had recorded a total of 347.5 million euro with 38 million spectators (double 1997). In Russia, a country growing so powerfully as to prove the leading market in terms of audience numbers in 2019, the 2020 box office stands at 46%. Two more of the leading markets reach 40%: Germany and Italy.

Relatively less brilliant results for France, where estimates mention 36%, and Spain, which closes the first three months with 32%, a level Tenetalso reached by the UK and Ireland - with cumulative figures. Although all this comes as no surprise to those working in the sector, it should be remembered that - unlike other activities equally penalized by closure to the public - on re-opening after the spring lockdown, exhibition found itself facing another problem: the lack of product. Not only had production on film sets been closed, but many producers had postponed the release of films that actually were ready, to wait for "better times".

Of the blockbusters that had been announced, Tenet was more or less the only one to reach the international scene.
Distributed by Warner Bros, outside the United States the film earned 53 million dollars in its first five days. Between 3 July and 10 September it won important market shares everywhere, which in some cases were a decisive factor for the survival of theatres.
In Turkey programming at the time was essentially based on the release of 32 titles, 6 of which were domestic films. But Tenet alone obtained 37% of total admissions.
In Russia almost one out of four spectators opted for it. And the 722,000 tickets sold up to 10 September, i.e. the day after its release, had beenPinocchio joined by approximately another 1.8 million by 4 October. Up to 10 September Nolan's film had accounted for 17% of admissions in Germany, for 15% in the Netherlands, 14% in Spain and 11% in France. Without doubt an international success story, but the situation in October on the individual markets reveals some interesting details. The most significant is the extraordinary affirmation in Spain of Padre no hay más que uno 2: La llegada de la suegra. The sequel to Segura's successful 2019 comedy had, by 4 October, attracted over 2.2 million spectators, twice as many as Tenet. Another popular Spanish film is the action comedy Superagente Makey which wins sixth place. Domestic titles also figure in the German top ten, thanks to the animated film Meine Freundin Conni - Geheimnis um Kater Mau, which comes third (seventh in Austria), to Jim
Knopf und die Wilde 13 and Takeover, respectively sixth and seventh. In France, Divorce Club comes third, Bigfoot family fifth, the comedy T'as pécho? sixth, Le bonheur des uns ... seventh. In Italy the best result for a domestic film is obtained by Padrenostro, placed fifth, followed by Volevo nascondermi, in Turkey the horror film Cin Bebek - 2 comes fifth, whilst Zengo is sixth. In fourth and sixth position in Russia are Sagittarius and Vratar galaktiki, in fourth and fifth position in the Netherlands Alles is zoals het zou moeten zijn and De piraten van hiernaast. Dulcis in fundo, good news for Italian cinema: in these lists filled mostly by U.S. or domestic films, Pinocchio stands out, coming fifth in Spain, eighth in the Netherlands, ninth in the UK/Ireland. In the countries analysed, Garrone's fairy-tale proves to be the only European film capable of reaching the top ten on three foreign markets.

* Rated by 2019 admissions in descending order: Russia, France, UK, Germany, Italy and Spain.

MEDIA Salles thanks for the collaboration Deniz Yavuz - Antrakt. Data source: Comscore

This article was published in issue no. 180/2020 of Cinema & Video Int'l, the MEDIA Salles media partner.

TOP TEN FILMS BY GBO - 27 June - 4 October 2020

  UK/USA: UK films wholly or partly financed and controlled by a US studio but featuring UK cast, crew, locations, facilities, post-production and often UK source material.
  Domestic films
  European films, excluding domestic ones
  Co-productions between European and non European countries (different from UK/USA)
Worldwide title in brackets, if different.

To see more countries click here

Thanks to Deniz Yavuz (Antrakt) and Comscore, source of the data.


Focus on Malta
by Angelica Riva

Whilst we are inundated with measures imposing or prolonging the closure of movie theatres in Europe, Malta’s cinemas are open.

Although the Government has made facemasks obligatory in offices and in the open air and bars and clubs close at 11 p.m., whilst a maximum of only 6 people can meet with the obligation to maintain social distancing, schools and communal places, such as restaurants and cinemas, have been excluded from the restrictions.

And so this small Mediterranean island is one of the few markets on which it has been possible, since 16 December, to see the long-awaited sequel "Wonder Woman 1984", whose release in most European countries is foreseen for the end of January 2021.

To allow customers and staff access to the theatres, severe measures have had to be adopted to guard against infection. These are illustrated - for example - on the web page of Eden Cinemas who, with their 13 screens (with THX certification) and 3,100 seats, is the Island’s main operator. These measures, also presented in a video, foresee a check of body temperature for staff and customers and encourage online bookings and payment by credit card.,

Social distancing is respected thanks to seat markers and checks on the theatres’ capacity. Hands must be disinfected and plexiglass visors are used by staff, while masks are obligatory for everyone (except whilst eating or drinking).

To further safeguard audiences, Eden Cinemas announces that a training programme on hygiene and safety has been organized for staff.

But Malta, too, has to face up to the halt in international productions. This is why Eden Cinemas are also proposing films from past repertories, every day, seven days out of seven, with screenings for all ages from early afternoon until evening, with the last screening never starting later than 9.10 p.m. and tickets that can be purchased online for a maximum of 8.80 euros (9.90 for 3D).

Amongst the evergreens of the Christmas season appear titles such as "The Polar Express", "Elf", "The Star" or "The Holiday".

But amongst those "coming soon", starting from the dates either side of the New Year, there are already "Dreamland", "Blithe Spirit" and "Vanguard".

Modica, the town famous all over the world for its chocolate made according to a historical recipe perhaps coming directly from the Aztecs, is less than 150 kilometres from Malta but in Italy.

Here, as in most of Europe, cinemas are closed over this end-of-the-year period.

And the release dates for the new films have not yet been made known …

Key figures

* Digital cinema/screen = a cinema/screen equipped with DLP Cinema TM or SXRD Technology



Click here to see the update of the map that offers in a glimpse the first comprehensive info about cinema-going during the pandemic, thanks to the collaboration of national and int'l bodies, institutions, companies and professionals from the various European countries.

Antonella Di Nocera
Founder of Parallelo 41 Produzioni, Naples, Italy

Cinema, Digital and Me

Antonella Di NoceraThe moment that sparked off my love for the cinema: a bolt of lightning between me and the screen, watching Der Himmel über Berlin / The Sky Over Berlin / Wings of Desire . A lot of time has gone by since then, always spent living with the cinema.

Going to the cinema, studying cinema, exhibiting cinema, teaching cinema, making cinema: since that watershed at age 16 in the gallery of a big cinema in Trieste, right up to the now day-by-day obstination of pursuing that link between education, cinema and culture.

To answer the question of what has been the most important recent change to influence transformations in the sector and also in my professional and private life, it has undoubtedly been the digital revolution, which has opened up extraordinary new paths and opportunities.

Ways of conceiving and making films with new and powerful freedom: the freedom to be able to produce starting out from desires and urgent needs, without posing the problem of the huge machinery of the cinema as we all know it.

And so the narration is central. And for me, in particular, the cinema of reality. An encounter that turned my first lightning-struck encounter from a flame into a fire.

Digital cinema action is limitless, without borders: there is nothing more immediate for acting locally and thinking globally.

Bring born and growing up in the suburbs, I’m used to a transversal gaze and the centre isn’t the hub of vision, as usually happens. Thanks to the less weighty approach it allows in the production of documentaries, in overall terms and in terms of technology going digital has given a voice to young people’s experience, making new aesthetics and approaches possible.

If I look at the films I’ve produced over the past few years, I can confirm significantly that digital has also given a voice to real people and stories that would never have been told.

Production, which often finds forms of public financing and with effort manages to reach its conclusion, is not met with distribution and commercialization of the products, which have difficulty finding a market. It is therefore to be hoped, as these times of pandemic have demonstrated, that a truly democratic revolution - unfortunately a long way off - will take place in the channels of digital distribution, so that it is no longer subject to the dictates and rules of the existing mainstream approach.

(Per leggere il testo in italiano cliccare qui)

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Edito da: MEDIA Salles - Reg. Trib.
Milano n. 418 dello 02/07/2007
Direttore responsabile:
Elisabetta Brunella
Coordinamento redazionale:
Silvia Mancini
Redazione: Angelica Riva 
Raccolta dati ed elaborazioni statistiche: Paola Bensi, Silvia Mancini