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Highlights - 10/02/2009


2008: Increasing demand for local films in many European markets European Audiovisual Observatory



The Russian Federation joins Europe's big five cinema markets in 2008. EU admissions stable.

Press Release
As every year, Europa Cinemas' results will be released at the Cannes film festival.
On the occasion of the 59th Berlin International Film Festival the European Audiovisual Observatory releases its first estimates for European cinema attendance in 2008. The Observatory estimates that total admissions in the European Union increased marginally in relation to 2007. With around 920 million tickets sold, 2008 attendance rose by just 0.3% above the 2007 level. The most remarkable change was seen in the Russian Federation where admissions grew by 16% to reach 124 million tickets sold. This total makes Russia the fourth largest cinema market in Europe in terms of cinema attendance.
In absolute terms admissions grew most significantly in the Russian Federation (+17.3 million, +16.2%), followed by France (+11.1 million, +6.2%), Turkey (+7.4 million, +23.6%) and Germany (+4 million, +3.2%). While attendance increased by 1.1% in the UK (+1.8 million), admissions dropped by an estimated -4.1% in Italy (-4.8 million) and by -7.6% in Spain (-8.9 million). In Italy the year-on-year decline followed exceptionally good results in 2007, but Spain saw its 4th consecutive year of declining admissions levels.
In the rest of Europe, significant growth in cinema attendance was seen in certain Central and Eastern European countries: Slovakia (+18.2% - driven primarily by the success of national co-production Báthory), Bulgaria (+12.1%) and Poland (+3.4%). Scandinavia shaped up as another growth region for theatrical markets in 2008 with admissions rising in Norway (+9.7%), Denmark (+8.9%), Finland (+7.4%) and Sweden (+1.5%).
Increasing demand for local films in many European markets
2008 proved to be another year of strong demand for national productions, with market shares for local productions increasing in 14 out of the 19 European Union countries for which provisional data is available. In many countries the success of national films contributed significantly to driving or stabilising overall cinema attendance.
National market share exceeded 30% in a total of 5 countries. Led by Recep Ývedik local titles accounted for all of the top 10 titles in Turkey, with national market share reaching almost 60%, the highest level in any European country covered by the Observatory. This was followed by France (45.7% driven by the phenomenal success of Bienvenue chez les Cht'is), the Czech Republic (39.6%; Báthory), Denmark (33%; Flammen & Citronen) and the UK (31%; Mamma, Mia!, Quantum of Solace). Record national market shares were also achieved in Germany (26.6%; Keinohrhasen), Norway (22.5%; Max Manus), Poland (25.4%; Lejdis), the Netherlands (17.8%; Oorlogswinter), Belgium (~ 10%; Loft) and Austria (6%; Echte Wiener).
- Data have been collected with the collaboration of the EFARN (European Film Agency Research Network).
- All 2008 figures are provisional.
- The 2008 Austrian admissions figure is a total market estimate by the European Audiovisual Observatory on the basis of 14.7 million admissions recorded by Nielsen EDI and an assumed coverage rate of 95%.
- The 2008 Spanish admissions figure is a total market estimate by the European Audiovisual Observatory, on the basis of the January to November admissions as communicated by the ICAA. National market share is also estimated by the Observatory based on ICAA data covering January to November 2008.
- The 2008 Italian admissions figure is a total market estimate by the European Audiovisual Observatory, on the basis of a growth rate of -4.1% as communicated by Cinetel / ANICA.
- Market shares for Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom are on the basis of gross box office, other market share figures are on the basis of admissions. In the case of the United Kingdom the market share estimate is based on UK and Republic of Ireland gross box office figures.
- 2008 figures for the Netherlands are based on provisional registration as of Jan 5, 2009.
Next figures from the Observatory:
The European Audiovisual Observatory will publish a complete overview of 2008 European cinema market trends in early May 2009.
Press Contact:
Alison Hindhaugh, alison.hindhaugh at
Market Analyst:
Martin Kanzler, martin.kanzler at
Department for Information on Markets and Financing