Milan, 14 February 2011


The number of spectators in all of Europe’s cinemas continues to grow, from Portugal to Russia: in 2009 there were 1,179.3 million, rising to 1,184.6 million, with a 0.4% increase in 2010. These are the figures announced by MEDIA Salles in the traditional appointment at the Berlinale.
If Europe as a whole is characterized by a positive trend, the analysis of individual markets, presented by Elisabetta Brunella, Secretary General of MEDIA Salles, reveals contradictory results. The 18 countries of Western Europe totalled 897.2 million spectators with a 2.6% decrease compared to 2009, when 921.2 million tickets were sold. Instead, Central-Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean Rim, comprising 15 countries, recorded considerable growth: 11.4. From 258.1 million, tickets sold rose to 287.4 million.

Western Europe
Even within Western Europe, a common trend does not emerge during 2010: there are markets that grow and others that record a dip.
Of the five main countries, France, which in 2009 had crossed the “psychological threshold” of 200 million, consolidating her position as Europe’s leading market, continues to grow to 206.5 million (+2.7%), the best result since 1967. The highest growth rate is recorded in Italy, where the increase in audiences is estimated at around 11%. Ticket sales in theatres operating for at least 60 days a year rise from a little over 107 million to around 119. A negative result for the United Kingdom, which does, however, manage to contain the drop (-2.4%) and hold on to its second place in Europe with 169.3 million tickets. In Spain the drop is greater, decreasing by 11.7% and closing 2010 with a drop to below the 100-million-spectator mark. Lower admissions for Germany, too, which counts 126.6 million, losing almost twenty million tickets (-13.5%), i.e. more than those gained in 2009. The reason for this difficult year is the poor performance by domestic movies: it is here that the twenty- million-ticket difference gap with 2009 is to be found.
A dip of similar proportions to that in Germany is recorded in Norway, which closes 2010 with a 13.2% drop, stopping at 11 million spectators. In Northern Europe a minus sign for Denmark, too, (-8.4%), together with Sweden (-9.1%), whilst Finland sees her audiences grow by 10.3% and rise from 6.8 million to 7.5.
Decreasing admissions in Ireland (-6.6%), Austria (-6.0%), Luxemburg (-5.6%), Greece (-5.1%), Switzerland (-3.7%), to a total of a little over three million tickets, are partly compensated for by the increase in spectators in Belgium (where a rise of around 5% is estimated), Portugal and the Netherlands. In 2010 the latter market crossed the 28-million-ticket threshold, doubling the results at the beginning of the ‘Nineties.

Central-Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean Rim
Outstanding in this area are the record increases recorded in Romania (around 29%, following the 32% in 2009), Bulgaria (22.8), Estonia (19.5%) and Russia (19.4%). The latter country gains over 25 million spectators, becoming the third largest European market in 2010, right behind France and the United Kingdom.
Considerable increases are also recorded in Turkey (13.9%), the Czech Republic (8.6%) and Latvia (8.3%).
A large market, as is Poland’s, closes 2010 with a minus sign (-12.6%) and, after an exceptional 2009, which brought her close to the 40-million-spectator level, settles at 34.2 million, nonetheless a flattering result and amongst the best in the past decade.
Croatia remains stable, whilst a drop, though not as steep as Poland’s, is to be seen in Lithuania (-6.8%), the Slovak Republic (-5.6%), Cyprus (-3.6%) and, according to estimates so far, Malta (-3%).

Box office
The figures already published on box office show that in 2010 the trend towards rises in average ticket prices is continuing, in connection with the greater offer of films in 3D, where price increases of around an average two euro are applied on Western European markets.
In Austria the average ticket price rises from 7.09 euro to 7.53, in Germany from 6.67 to 7.27, in Spain from 6.10 to 6.52, in Italy from 6.07 to around 6.4 euro.

Digital screens
The spread of digital screens which experienced an authentic boom in Europe in 2009 (+205%), continued in 2010. The data collected by MEDIA Salles shows that at 20 June 2010 the number of European screens with DLP Cinema or SXRD technology amounted to 6,680.
Compared to 1st January 2010, when there were 4,684, the increase over six months amounted to 43%. The number of digital screens also equipped for 3D grew, too: from 3,467 it rose to 5,277, attaining a penetration of 79%.
The first figures on digitalization in Europe at 1st January 2011 will be announced by MEDIA Salles on Wednesday 16 February 2011 in Krakow, at the Conference organized by the Malopolska Digital Circuit.

MEDIA Salles is a project operating within the European Union’s MEDIA Programme, whose twentieth anniversary celebrations it shares in 2011. This project, which enjoys the support of the Italian Government, promotes European cinema thanks to work on training and information involving European cinema exhibitors. Attention focuses in particular on the theatrical developments and implications of digital projection and on the training of exhibitors in this field: in a video, now also appearing on YouTube, MEDIA Salles presented in Berlin the eighth edition of “DigiTraining Plus”, the only initiative by the MEDIA Programme to deal with the new technology from the perspective of the movie theatre. The course will be held from 29 June to 3 July in Helsinki and Tallinn.
A video on the course was presented in Berlin on 12 February 2011 and can now be seen at this link:

Work on information, including their consolidated tools for the promotion of European films, has recently been integrated by MEDIA Salles by added attention to the social network. A page has been created on Facebook, with a constantly updated information service: the calendar of international releases for Italian films, with dates, countries of release and a wealth of other information.