Annex 3:
Description of the methodology involved in the quantitative survey
 
Here we describe the method used for the quantitative section of the study undertaken by BIPE Conseil and London Economics for MEDIA Salles.
 
The information which came from a survey undertaken in the first half of 1993, of a sample of exhibitors from different countries in the EU, has been included in the White Book. The aim of this quantitative work was to gather information complementary to the dossier of statistics already published by MEDIA Salles (the European Cinema Yearbook 1992 and 1993 editions) by providing original data on the location of cinemas, their size, commercial policy, facilities, programming and performance.
 
A questionnaire, created by BIPE, then submitted to the representatives of MEDIA Salles and subsequently vetted by the different national exhibitors' associations, was translated into eight national languages, and sent out, in the post, to a sample of 3,000 cinemas situated in the different countries within the Community.
 
This sample was amassed at random from a database of lists of cinemas sent by the national associations or by official organisations, always taking care, according to the stratified sample approach, to represent in each country the structure of the industry according to the size of cinemas (ie the number of screens). In certain countries, stratified sampling was also used to represent the distribution of the industry according to different regions.
 
When it was necessary, telephone follow-ups were used by the study's national correspondents, in order to maximise the response rate to the survey. 1,170 questionnaires were completed and returned, which is a response rate of nearly 40%, which is more than respectable for a survey of this type; however, there is no precedent for a quantitative survey concerning the industry throughout all the countries of Community. This response rate certainly attests to the interest manifested in such a study as much by the exhibitors' associations as by the management of the cinemas themselves.
 
The data capture and the statistical treatment of the questionnaires was entrusted to a specialist firm, under the direction of BIPE Conseil.
 
All the precautions taken and the existence of a very favourable response rate however does not necessarily avoid all risk of bias. Whenever it was possible, these biases were corrected by using the classical technique of weighted coefficients, in order to adjust the sample in each country within the structure of the national universe.
 
The data capture and statistical processing of the questionnaires, extremely complex as numerous variables were involved, were entrusted to a specialist survey data processing company, under BIPE Conseilís supervision.
 
Two series of results were provided: unweighted and weighted, in order to adjust the national samples to reflect the distribution of screens within the national universe (using the variable: number of screens per cinema).
 
We must state that the distribution of responses required from the correspondents were calculated on a the basis of distribution of screens by category of cinema; the rate of weighting used was calculated on the basis of the number of screens by category of screen, and not by the number of cinemas.
 
The weighted results, using the distribution of screens by category of cinema (Single-screen, 2 screens, 3 screens etc.) were the ones we mostly used in the analysis.
 
This type of bias was actually easy to detect, since precise country-by-country data on the variations in cinema distribution according to size of theatres was already available. It is not, however, certain that other biases were introduced for variables for which exhaustive information was not available. It seems, for example, that the response rate has generally been better from the large urban areas than from the smaller sized population areas. In the absence of reliable general data, however, it is impossible to redress this bias in a satisfactory manner.
 
 
 Weighting Coefficients
 
No. of Screens
Belgium
Denmark
France
Pop %
Sample %
Coef
Pop %
Sample %
Coef
Pop %
Sample %
Coef
1
22.0
22.2
0.991
34.5
27.9
1.236
32.0
22.9
1.397
2
10.7
6.3
1.698
21.5
11.7
1.837
13.5
12.4
1.088
3-5
36.4
34.9
10.42
36.27
37.8
0.959
36.0
42.5
0.847
6-7
8.8
11.1
0.793
4.0
5.4
0.741
13.5
13.7
0.985
8+
21.6
25.4
0.850
2.5
17.1
0.146
5.0
8.5
0.588
No. of Questionnaires
63
111
153
 
No. of Screens
Germany
Greece
Ireland
Pop %
Sample%
Coef
Pop %
Sample %
Coef
Pop %
Sample %
Coef
1
34.5
55.0
0.627
99.0
99.0
-
17.2
10.8
1.592
2
19.5
16.3
1.196
1.0
1.0
-
25.8
15.4
1.675
3-5
35.0
24.0
1.458
     
36.5
49.2
0.742
6-7
7.0
3.1
2.25
     
3.2
9.2
0.347
8+
4.0
1.6
2.5
     
17.2
15.4
1.117
No. of Questionnaires
129
94
65
No. of Screens
Italy
Netherlands
Portugal
Pop %
Sample %
Coef
Pop %
Sample %
Coef
Pop %
Sample %
Coef
1
96.0
90.1
1.065
14.9
11.3
1.318
76.0
55.3
1.374
2
2.0
7.2
0.277
21.0
23.9
0.878
9.5
14.5
0.655
3-5
1.5
1.8
0.833
59.3
60.6
0.978
8.5
17.1
0.497
6-7
0.0
0.0
0.0
4.6
4.2
1.095
3.0
-
-
8+
0.5
0.9
0.555
0.0
0.0
0.0
3.0
13.2
0.454
No. of Questionnaires
111
71
76
 
No. of Screens
Spain
UK
Pop %
Sample %
Coef
Pop %
Sample %
Coef
1
62.0
56.5
1.097
18.0
28.8
0.625
2
7.0
8.2
0.853
12.3
11.4
1.080
3-5
22.9
22.4
1.022
32.7
30.9
1.058
6-7
4.0
8.2
0.487
11.3
18.1
0.621
8+
3.5
4.8
0.729
24.7
14.8
1.669
No of Questionnaires
147
149
   
 Numbers of observations per country
 
Number of Questionnaires
Percentage of Questionnaires
No. of screens
%
Belgium
63
5.4%
431
14.6
Denmark
111
9.5%
315
35.2
France
153
13.1%
4402
3.4
Germany
129
11.0%
3630
3.5
Greece
94
8.0%
405
3.4
Ireland
65
5.6%
189
34.3
Italy
111
9.5%
3020
3.6
Netherlands
71
6.1%
416
17.0
Portugal
76
6.5%
232
32.7
Spain
147
12.6%
1807
8.1
UK
149
12.7%
1757
8.4
Total
1,020
100.0%
16,604
6.1
 
At the European level, the overall structure of the sample does not therefore reflect either the relative importance of each country, or the number of screens, or admissions. For this reason, we recognised it was appropriate to work with unweighted averages. The principal European results were therefore calculated on the basis of arithmetical averages, which gave the same weight to each of the European countries.
 
This method has the advantage of providing a representation of the corresponding reality in the "average" situation in Europe. But it also proves inconvenient: it is very difficult to apply to cross tabulate (between different variables). These latter results are therefore shown as weighted averages in the section of the synthesis report (weighted by the number of inhabitants in each country considered). The reader must not therefore be surprised by non-negligible differences which can exist between one and the other.
  Despite the many precautions taken, the risks of bias are far from minimised. It would therefore be erroneous, or in some cases hasty, to extrapolate from these results to the whole of the industry. Whatever its deficiencies, the information gathered does provide orders of magnitude in different areas, where, until now, information has altogether been lacking, and allows us to position the variables which were studied in relationship to each other.