The new issue of the “European Cinema Journal” presented in Cannes
Updated figures on cinema-going in 2006 reveal a positive trend: audiences grow by 3.5% in the European Union
Updated information on cinema-going in Europe
in 2006 in the MEDIA Salles Newsletter “European Cinema Journal” no.
2/2007 was presented during the Cannes Film Festival on 21 May. At
the MEDIA Salles “happy hour”, the traditional gathering for cinema professionals
and journalists, the President of the Association, Jens Rykær, declared:
“We are happy that 2006 has seen an increase in audiences in European
cinemas and that in several countries Europe’s films have obtained significant
market shares. These results are a source of satisfaction for MEDIA Salles,
which has been committed to raising the visibility of European films and
promoting cinema-going in cinemas all over Europe for 15 years, through
its information, promotion and training initiatives”.
As regards 2006, the figures relating to
screens and admissions in 33 European countries, brought together in the
Newsletter, reveal a generally better trend compared to the previous year.
This improvement has not, however, regarded all countries.
In the 25 countries belonging to the European Union in 2006, audiences have experienced an average growth rate of 3.5%, rising from 893.0 to 924.1.
The 18 countries of Western Europe
for which figures are already available show an average increase in ticket
sales of around 2.4%. A good sign for the future, though not measuring
up to expectations, if we consider that in various countries the first
half of the year was characterised by a two-figure increase. But the improvement
nevertheless took place: from 862.2 to 882.9 million admissions. Two of
the continent’s five big markets were mainly responsible for contributing
to this. In first place comes France which, with over 188 million spectators
(+7.6% compared to 2005), achieves the second best result since 1984.
Next comes Germany which sees an audience growth of 7.4% compared to 2005.
However, despite an increase of over 9 million spectators, this market
does not succeed in recovering the heavy drop recorded between 2004 and
2005. The total of 136.7 million spectators still remains below the average
for the 2000s (over 150 million). Increasing, though only just, is a third
large market, Italy, where estimates regarding screens operating at least
60 days a year speak of an average yearly increment of 1.7%, following
an initial six months that had recorded a rise of over 10%. Also marked
by a plus sign are smaller markets such as Austria (+10.6%), Finland (+10.4%),
Switzerland (+9.6%), The Netherlands (+9.1%), Ireland (+8.9%), Belgium
(+8.7%), Luxembourg (+8.1%), Norway (+6.2%), Sweden (+4.7%), Denmark (+3.4%)
and Greece (+2.4%).
In general, the 15 countries of Central-Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean Rim obtain decidedly flattering results, recording admissions increasing by 20.4%. Spectators thus increase from 94.6 to 113.9 million. Here too, however, there is no escape from the general trend, which sees quite different situations in the individual territories. All with above-average growth are both big markets such as Poland (+29.7%), which recovers almost all the spectators lost in 2005, and Turkey (+26.3%), as well as smaller countries such as the Slovak Republic (+55.5%), Estonia (+40.1%), Latvia (+27.5%), Croatia (+22.8%), the Czech Republic (+21.4%) and Slovenia (+9.9%). An exceptional growth is recorded in Lithuania, which more than doubles its spectators (+108.6%). Instead, decreases are recorded in Serbia and Montenegro (-36.7%) and, to a smaller extent, in Malta (-4%), Hungary (-3.8%), Bulgaria (-2.5%), Romania (-1.9%) and Cyprus (-1.1%).