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INDUSTRY Europe

Production is stable and admissions are rising

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A report published on the 4th of May by the European Audiovisual Observatory shows that European cinema is rather healthy, both in terms of production and admissions, especially the latter.

In 2004, the 25 members of the European Union produced 764 films, that is, 2% more than in 2003. The most productive countries are Spain (92 productions, 24 more than in 2003) and France (which moves from 105 to 130), although the number of French majority co-production has dramatically decreased (from 78 to 37). It is however worth noting that France is the only country where the average budget has significantly risen —by 15%, from €4,63M in 2003 to €5,34M, which is the highest level reached in ten years— while budgets tend to diminish in the other EU members. Germany produced 6 more films than in 2003. Austria, Finland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic record a similar increase. The UK has on the contrary been less productive, although co-productions are stable. Denmark, Greece, and the Natherlands also record a less important number of films than in 2003.

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Stable as it was in terms of production, 2004 will definitely be remembered as the second time since 1990 that over a billion tickets (1.005 billion precisely) have been sold. 55 million more spectators, 6% more than in 2003, went to the cinema. Everywhere, the results are positive. Notwithstanding the amazing increase in attendance recorded in Poland and Latvia, with, respectively, +40.5% and +46%, France has had great results with 12.3% more spectators. Italy recorded +9.5%, Austria +9.4%. Germany, Spain, the UK, Belgium, Hungary and Denmark are doing well too, whereas the Czech Republic got disappointing results, as did some Northern countries, Finland, Lithuania, and Sweden.

In 2004, European films accounted for 26.5% of the total admissions (26.8% in 2003) while American productions attracted 71.4% of the public. Besides, on the 26.5% European market share, 11.7% represent co-productions also involving American partners. The first European movie in the European box-office 2004 is Bridget Jones – The Edge of Reason, in the tenth position (thanks to the good distribution outside the UK, 54% of the tickets having been sold abroad). The other two European productions which entered the top 20 were The Chorus [+see also:
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and the German movie Dreamship Surprise, Period 1 ((T)raumschiff Surprise - Period 1). In 2003, only two European productions were in the list. This recurrent failure to enter more local productions in the top-list is mostly due to the fact that European films are seldom distributed outside their borders. Thus, two out of the three European productions in the top 20 owe their success to the size of their home markets (France and Germany) although The Chorus did fairly well outside France, selling 25% of the tickets abroad.

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(Translated from French)

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