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EXHIBITORS Europe

Growing cinema digitization, higher ticket prices and fewer admissions in EU

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- MEDIA presents support results and the European Audiovisual Observatory unrolls current figures on the European market

Growing cinema digitization, higher ticket prices and fewer admissions in EU

With 180 applications for 279 screens, the MEDIA programme received a huge response to the latest call for digitization support. A total of €4 million was granted to 200 screens in 15 European countries - 130 exhibitors received €20,000 per screen, so that they can cover additional costs arising from the digital conversion.

According to the European Audiovisual Observatory, three-quarters of all European cinemas are already equipped with digital projection systems. At the end of 2012 there were 21,693 digital screens in the European Union, which marks a growth of 36% compared with 2011. While the cinemas in countries such as Luxembourg, Austria, Belgium and Finland are almost entirely digitized, fewer than 25% of theatres in Lithuania, Greece and Slovenia have participated in the digital roll out. The level of digitization also varies in the big European film countries - in Great Britain, 93% of all screens are already digital, in France 92%, followed by Germany with 68%, at the end of 2012. In Italy, digitization is at 65% percent and Spain 45%.

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The total number of cinema admissions in the EU fell by 2.2%, down to 933.3 million. Although France sold the highest number of tickets in the EU (203.4 million), attendance dropped by 6.3%, while in Germany audiences grew by 4.3%. The biggest increase of viewers was in Finland (19.7%) and Romania (15.4%). The general drop of admissions is not reflected in the gross receipts, which climbed to €6.47 billion, the main reason for which is the higher ticket prices for 3D releases.

All over Europe, the big box office hits were mainly American blockbusters that had a market share of 62.8%. Twenty two films in the Top 25 came from the US, ten of them were sequels such as Ice Age: Continental Drift, The Dark Knight Rises [+see also:
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and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. Thanks to the James Bond film Skyfall [+see also:
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, which attracted 44 million cinemagoers in the EU, the market share for European films went up to 33.6%. Altogether, 313 million Europeans purchased a ticket for a European movie in 2012.

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