Europe starts 2014 with more than 30,000 digital projectors, a growth rate of 21%
According to the initial figures available, the number of screens equipped with either DLP Cinema™ or SXRD™ technology has risen to 30,402, with a 21% increase compared to 1st January 2013, when there were 25,084.
Europe thus starts 2014 with around 84% of its screens having converted to digital. This is a slightly lower penetration rate than the world average, which touches on 87%. Instead, there is a more marked difference compared to North America, where digital projectors are installed on 93% of screens.
Of the over 30,000 European digital projectors, around 72% are to be found on the six leading markets (France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia), which, including screens not yet converted, account for around 68.5% of European screens.
As for the exhibition chains, the ten leading companies now 100% digitalized represent 27% of Europe's overall digital screens.
Each of these companies controls from over 2,000 screens (as in the case of the Odeon UCI group) to the approx. 400 belonging to UGC, CGR and Yelmo.
In all, there are around 8,300 screens belonging to these groups, mostly located in Western Europe.
Operating in Central and Eastern Europe are the just under 900 screens belonging to Cinemacity (which has been part of the Cineworld group since January 2014) and the over 250 belonging to Multikino (controlled by Vue). These are joined by the approx. 500 screens managed by Cinemaximum in Turkey.
A country-by-country analysis - although for some markets only estimates are available for the moment - allows us to affirm that the European average conceals substantial differences between countries.
Alongside territories where 35mm has practically disappeared - both from theatres and from distribution (as is the case in Scandinavia, Benelux, Austria and Switzerland, to quote some of them) - there remain countries where the spread of the new technology is decidedly below the average for the Continent.
Amongst the latter, though still varying considerably from one other, are Serbia with 26%, Slovenia (45%) and the Czech Republic (51%). Whilst there is no sign of significant growth in these countries compared to 30 June 2013, Estonia, although having a comparable percentage of digital screens (44%), has still seen considerable growth compared to six months previously, when the figure stood at 26%.
Significant differences are also to be seen on the Continent's six leading markets where, alongside territories that have all but completed the conversion process, such as France and the United Kingdom, there are also situations ranging from around 90% in Germany to approximately 65% in Spain, including 81% in Russia and 75% in Italy. Nevertheless, these markets share the marked development in digital technology that has taken place over the past six months.
The great challenge for 2014 will be the digitalization of the approximately six thousand European screens (around 16% of the total) that have failed to keep the appointment with the new technology, most of which are located in traditional cinemas. Romania is a significant example: here half the Country's cinemas possess 84% of digital screens and only single-screen theatres have stuck to their 35mm projectors.
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