News / The Network


The Network - 12/05/2010


A look back at 2009


4% increase for European films across the Europa Cinemas Network


European cinema consolidates its position in the Network

According to analyses of the European Audiovisual Observatory, market growth in 2009 was primarily due to American films and 3D. In the Europa Cinemas / MEDIA Network cinemas, however, European films were clearly the key factor in bolstering growth. The 710 Network cinemas dedicated 59% of their screenings to European films (+4 percentage points), and 36% to non-national European films (+3). By contrast, American films and those from the rest of the world dropped (-2 and -1,5 percentage points respectively, to 8,5% for the latter). In all, 59 million European viewers went to cinemas belonging to the Network, which is set to top the 2,000-screen mark in 2010 (1813 in 2009).

Slumdog Millionaire, 2.2 million Network admissions

Premiered in Europe at our Annual Conference at the end of 2008, Slumdog Millionaire was the big success of 2009. The film by Danny Boyle had 2.2 million admissions in the theatres of 29 countries, with an average of 4,165 viewers per theatre (!). Notably, the film took top spot in the Network in Switzerland, (149,000 admissions, 26 theatres), Germany (410,000 admissions, 109 theatres), Spain (217,000 admissions, 31 theatres), Italy (302,000) and the Netherlands (221,000).

Broken Embraces (Almodóvar) is the other film that passed the million-viewer mark in the Network, followed by five films with more than 500,000 admissions: The Reader (Daldry, GB), The White Ribbon (Haneke, AT), Coco Before Chanel (Anne Fontaine, FR), Welcome to the Sticks (Boon, FR) and Millennium: Part 1 (Oplev, SE), in Northern Europe but also in Spain and Italy. Two other Cannes successes approached 500,000 admissions: Looking for Eric (Loach, GB), in competition last year, and the 2008 Palme d’Or, The Class (Cantet, FR), whose results brought home the importance of in-depth distribution of European cinema.

Above and beyond these results two German-language comedies also did very well: The Bone Man by Austrian director Wolfgang Murnberger in Austria and Germany, and Soul Kitchen, Fatih Akin's latest, in Germany. Several films were successful in Spain, notably The Secret in Their Eyes (Campanella, AR) and Cell 211 (Monzón, ES). In France Welcome (Lioret, FR), the Label at the 2009 Panorama, sparked a lively debate on immigration, while Gomorrah (Garrone, IT) continued its voyage, notably in the Netherlands. Finally, two films presented a year ago at Un Certain Regard in Cannes met up with audiences at home: the Greek film Dogtooth (Lanthimos) and the Romanian Tales From the Golden Age (Mungiu…, RO) were the most appreciated films in Network cinemas in their respective countries.


Young Audiences: Vicky, Nicolas and Mia in the house of stories

Films for young audiences occupy a privileged place in Network cinemas. Kerity, la maison des contes, a French film by Dominique Montfery, was the most programmed film in this sector last year, with notably almost 100,000 viewers in French theatres. It is closely followed in our ratings by an Irish film, The Secret of Kells (Moore/Twomey).

As every year, the theatres in Germany and France came up with a great series of activities for children, based notably on the films Vicky the Viking in Germany, Little Nicholas and Mia and the Migoo in France.


Digital: 10% of Network screens

2009, the year when digital technology got off the ground in Network cinemas? The cinemas of the UK, which got ahead thanks to the DSN programme of the UK Film Council, continued to equip other screens outside this programme. Elsewhere the few cinemas equipped with digital technology have now been joined by numerous others, notably in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Norway and Portugal.
Financial support accorded by Europa Cinemas for programming European films in digital format progressed meanwhile by 56%. And if "alternative" contents are now common (with operas at the MET in the lead), they nevertheless remain a marginal phenomenon. Slumdog Millionaire was also the most programmed European film in digital format.
Images, from top:

Slumdog Millionaire, Broken Embraces & The Reader
Kerity, la maison des contes & Vicky the Viking
Kino Schauburg in Karlsruhe, Germany, equipped with 3 digital projectors