Cinema-going holds its own in Western European cinemas in 2008: the number of spectators grows by 0.2% compared to 2007, to reach 868.4 million. These are the figures announced by MEDIA Salles on 7 February 2009, in the traditional appointment at the Berlinale.

An analysis of the individual markets, presented by Elisabetta Brunella, Secretary General of MEDIA Salles, again reveals varying trends in 2008. Of the five leading countries France (+6.2%), which reaches 188.8 million, confirming itself as the top European market, Germany (+3.2%) and the United Kingdom (+1.1%) close the year with positive results. Dips are recorded in Spain (-8.5%) and Italy, where the first estimates elaborated by MEDIA Salles refer to 109 million spectators, with a drop of 4.2% in comparison to 2007 which was, however, a particularly good year.

Negative signs are coming in from Greece, where the figures, though  still  provisional, show a  decrease  of  around 14%.   The  drops  in  Belgium
(-3.1%) and Portugal (-2.1%) are less severe.
Stability is the trend recorded in Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Sweden.

For some smaller markets 2008 is a positive year, for example for Denmark which grows by 3%, or even excellent: this is the case of Finland which sees a 7.7% rise and Norway which grows by 9.7%, thanks in particular to the success of domestic films and above all of Max Manus, which, since its release at the end of 2008, has drawn around a million spectators in a country of less than 5 million inhabitants.