Brussels: 9 February 2016 - The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) today released a provisional update on cinema admissions and box office revenues across Europe for 2015.
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 in Spring 2016.
Cinema-going in 2015
2015 was a record year for cinema operators in many European territories. Total admissions for EU countries (where data was available) increased by 6,9 per cent compared to 2014, while total admissions for all UNIC territories increased by 5,5 per cent, totalling more than 1,2 billion visits to the cinema. While local films performed remarkably well in some countries this overall trend was mostly the result of strong international titles throughout the year, including, but not limited to, Fifty Shades of Grey, Furious 7, Minions, SPECTRE, Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Once final box office figures for all territories are available, it will be possible to ascertain the impact of these positive overall trends in admissions on total box office revenues.
Increases in UK, Germany and Scandinavia; positive performance in France and Turkey
UK box office increased by 17,3 per cent compared to 2014, whilst admissions increased by 9,2 per cent. Germany enjoyed similar results (BO +16 per cent / admissions +9,4 per cent - preliminary estimates) bolstered by the success ofFack Ju Göhte 2.
As has often been the case in recent years, Scandinavian countries experienced positive results bolstered by strong local titles, such as Klovn Forever in Denmark (BO +21,8 per cent / admissions +15,2 per cent), Luokkakokous in Finland (BO +25,5 per cent / admissions +18,9 per cent) and Bølgen in Norway (BO +13,8 per cent / admissions +8,6 per cent).
While France again registered more than 200 million cinema visits, admissions slightly decreased by 1,4 per cent in 2015. This was primarily due to the unprecedented success of French films in the previous year. A similar trend could be observed in Turkey (BO +4,4 per cent / admissions -1,3 per cent).
Strong developments in Southern Europe
The Italian industry is showing signs of recovery following an impressive increase of 10,9 per cent in admissions and 8,6 per cent in box office. Spain also enjoyed positive results (BO +9,2 per cent / admissions +7,5 per cent), with 8 Apelidos Catalenes leading the box office top five in 2015. In Portugal, where Opátio das Cantigas ranked third in the list, admissions increased by an astonishing 20,2 per cent and box office by 19,4 per cent.
Continuing growth in Central and Eastern Europe
Poland has now become one of the leading European cinema markets, with more than 40 million admissions in 2015, an increase of 10,6 per cent on the previous year. Box office increased by 13,2 per cent, led by local production Listy Do M. 2. Several other Central and Eastern European countries experienced equally positive developments in 2015, notably Bulgaria (BO +11,1 per cent / admissions +8,7 per cent), the Czech Republic (BO +14,1 per cent / admissions +11,7 per cent), Hungary (BO +20,1 per cent / admissions +18,4 per cent) and Romania (BO +16,6 per cent / admissions +18 per cent).
Admissions per capita, European film share, outlook for 2016
Admissions per capita for all UNIC territories (where data was available) came in at 1,5 visits per year, equalling the result of 2014. France (3,1) and Ireland (3,3) experienced the highest cinema-going rate.
Due to incomplete figures for a number of countries, it is too early to assess the total market share for European films in 2015, which is expected to be slightly lower than 2014 due to strong competition from US productions.
The industry looks forward to a busy and exciting release schedule in 2016, one that is full in particular of promising European as well as studio titles.