Research outfit Screen Digest has launched the Cinema Index,a new piece of research which it says provides a picture of the comparative costof entertainment around the world.

Itlikens the Cinema Index to the Big Mac index, which helped leading economic thinkersanalyse inflation and growth rates across the world's economies.

According to the research, a trip to the cinema iscomparatively cheaper in India, the US and China than anywhere else in theworld.

Screen Digest's David Hancock, the author of the research,said: "In the same way that the Big Mac Index uses a ubiquitous product toprovide an at-a-glance global comparison of purchasing power, Screen Digestbelieves that the Cinema Index allows a similar comparison of relative pricingand wealth using the equally widespread medium of cinema."

The Cinema Index compares average earnings with the cost ofa cinema ticket. Despite net hourly earnings of just $0.70 per hour in India,with the average cinema ticket costing $0.19, it takes just 16 minutes work toearn enough money to buy a ticket.

The UK is the 11th cheapest nation for cinema with theaverage Briton working for just over 35 minutes to pay for a ticket.

Comparatively a family trip to the cinema in Bulgaria is asignificant undertaking, with Bulgarians working an average of over two hoursto earn enough for one cinema ticket.

This relatively high figure is indicative of Central Europe,where it takes an average of 89 minutes to earn enough money to buy a cinematicket.

Hancock said: "The Cinema Index highlights theimbalance between earnings and cinema ticket prices in Central Europe. Whereassome other territories have low earnings levels and low cinema ticket prices,making the medium affordable, going to the cinema in Central Europe is worryinglyskewed towards the higher earners. This could lead to an unwelcome brake oncinema development in these territories. Given the potential of these markets,it is important that cinema ticket rises are measured in order to give theoverall economy time to catch up."

The global average cost of a cinema ticket equates to 57minutes work.