EU Cinema-Going Report

In Finland for example, position 2 and 4 are American studio tentpole movies (Angry Birds and Secret Life of Pets !!! Wait, this just in…Angry Birds is a “National Qualified Production” of Finland), while Poland – with a ±17% increase in box office and admissions – it was Rogue One and Ice Age in positions 3 and 5. Germany had a 12% fall from the previous excellent year, mostly because the local movies didn’t do as well, and there, 5 of the top 5 were tentpoles. The top 5 Films per Territory list is marked provisional, but it makes fun interesting reading…and it is attached to this article.

We have a question into UNIC as to whether the status is generally the same as the US, which is: Pick any set of ten years since the 60s and the trend is always rising, with logical ups and downs within that time. 

Another question: This year has been notable in that Chinese and Korean movies are showing up at the top of the International Box Office figures, and showing up, along with more movies from India in the local US multiplexes. Are movies from those countries showing up regularly in the EU?

The attachments follow this press release:


Brussels: 9 February 2017 – The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), the body representing European cinema trade associations and key operators hastoday released its provisional update on admissions and box office revenues across Europe for 2016.

While some data remains to be collated and figures for certain territories are based only on initial estimates, the overview provided by UNIC represents the first wide-ranging assessment of the performance of the European cinema sector last year. More detailed final data on the performance of each territory will be released inSpring 2017.

European cinema-going in 2016

2016 has been a positive year for cinema operators in most European territories.Total admissions for EU Member States (where data was available) increasedby1.6 per centcompared to 2015, while total admissions for all UNIC territories* increased by2.6 per cent,totalling more than1.26 billionvisits to the cinema.

While the increase was also the result of a wide range of highly successful local films across Europe, box office was again dominated by strong international titles,including, but not limited to,Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Zootopia, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Secret Life of PetsandIce Age: CollisionCourse.

Once final box office figures for all UNIC territories are available, total box office revenues will be shared.

Increase in France, Russia and Southern Europe; stable results in UK and Turkey

France saw admissions increase by 3.6 per cent compared to 2015 and achieved its second-best performance for the past 50 years. Similarly, Russia enjoyed verypositive results (box office +9.6 per cent / admissions +10.1 per cent), asserting itself as the second biggest UNIC territory with over 190 million admissions.

The Spanish cinema industry reached the symbolic mark of 100 million admissions, bolstered by popular local co-productionA Monster Callsand despite a continuinghigh VAT rate on cinema tickets. In Italy, the local filmsQuo Vado?andPerfetti Sconosciutihelped the industry reach positive results in 2016 (box office +3.9 per cent /admissions +6.1 per cent). Following a highly successful 2015, Portugal again enjoyed a further increase in results (box office +2.2 per cent / admissions +2.2 percent).

While the UK box office increased by 0.5 per cent in 2016 – beating a record set in 2015 – admissions slightly decreased by 2.1 per cent. This was primarily due to theunprecedented success of SPECTRE and Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the previous year. A similar trend was observed in Turkey (box office +2.2 per cent /admissions -3.0 per cent), where the box office was once again dominated by local productions.

Decrease in Germany; varying fortunes in Scandinavia

The German cinema sector suffered a 12.4 per cent decrease in box office and 13 per cent decrease in admissions in 2016, as primarily local films found it hard toreproduce record-breaking performances of 2015. A similar trend could be observed in Austria (box office -2.4 per cent / admissions -5.2 per cent) and Switzerland(box office -9.4 per cent / admissions -7.2 per cent).

Box office and admissions in Scandinavian countries were bolstered by strong local titles, such asEn man som heter Ovein Sweden (box office +6.3 per cent /admissions +4.2 per cent) andKonges neiin Norway (box office +11.7 per cent / admissions +9.0 per cent). Following record performances in 2015 and despite localproductions leading the box office in 2016, Denmark (box office -6.0 per cent / admissions -5.1 per cent) and Finland (box office -0.8 per cent / admissions -1.8 percent) did not share the same fortune.

Significant growth in Central and Eastern Europe

Reaching over 50 million admissions, the Polish sector recorded its best year ever (box office +17.6 per cent / admissions +16.5 per cent), bolstered by three localfilms ranked in the box office top five. Similarly, Slovakia (box office +23.5 per cent / admissions +23.8 per cent) and the Czech Republic (box office +20.5 per cent /admissions 20.6 per cent) enjoyed the most significant growth across UNIC territories in 2016. Several other Central and Eastern European countries experiencedsimilarly positive developments in 2016, notably Bulgaria (box office +5.5 per cent / admissions +3.7 per cent), Hungary (box office +13.1 per cent / admissions +12.1per cent) and Romania (box office +10.2 per cent / admissions +7.5 per cent). Positive results could also be observed in Estonia (box office +13.5 per cent /admissions +6.1 per cent), Latvia (box office +10.7 per cent / admissions +5.5 per cent) and Lithuania (box office +14.9 per cent / admissions +9.8 per cent).

Admissions per capita, European film share, outlook for 2017

Admissions per capita for all UNIC territories (where data was available) came in at 1.6 visits per year, a slight 0.1 point increase from 2015. France and Ireland (bothat 3.3) experienced the highest rates of cinema-going.

Due to incomplete figures for several countries, it is too early to assess the total market share for European films in 2016.

The industry looks forward to a busy and exciting release schedule in 2017, one full of promising European as well as international titles.


Table with tentative market performance indicators for 2016 (where available). Chart of top 5 films for selected territories.

Notes for editors

UNIC is the European trade grouping representing cinema exhibitors and their national trade associations across 36 European territories. More information availableonunic-cinemas.org

* Including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey.


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