Figures mark the second lowest admissions level in the European Union since 2000.
The European Audiovisual Observatory has released its first estimates for European cinema attendance in 2013 and has reported that total admissions in the European Union (EU) dropped by 4.1% to 908 million tickets sold - around 39 million less than in 2012 (947 million).
This would mark the second lowest admissions level in the EU since 2000.
More than two thirds of EU markets experienced a decline in admissions, while admission levels increased in only eight out of the 26 EU territories for which provisional data were available.
The cumulative admissions drop in the EU was driven by the significant decline in four out of the five largest EU markets:
- Spain (-15.2m; -16%)
- France (-10.8m; -5.3%)
- UK (-7m; -4%)
- Germany (-5.4m; -4%).
Only Italy withstood the general downward trend with admissions estimated to have grown by 6.6% to 106.7 million tickets sold.
Apart from Italy, year-on-year growth in cinema attendance of over 1% could only be achieved in six Central and Eastern European member states, led by Bulgaria (+16.7%), Romania (+13.8%) and Lithuania (+6.8%).
Growth outside EU
As often in the past years, significant growth was only achieved outside of the EU.
With admissions growing by 10.5% to 173.5 million tickets sold in 2013, the Russian Federation overtook the UK as the second largest European market in terms of admissions.
Box office records were also broken in Turkey, with cinema attendance growing by 14.8% to 50.4 million admissions, the highest level in the past few decades.
National vs US market share
The market share of national films tends to fluctuate depending on the success of generally a few local blockbusters. National market shares increased in 13 and declined in 10 EU markets for which data were available.
US market share on the other hand increased in 11 out of the 13 markets for which provisional data were available with the average US market share in these markets increasing from 63% to 68%.
Despite dropping to its lowest level in years, France remained the EU market with the highest national market share with local productions taking 33% of total admissions (down from 40% in 2012), followed by Italy (31%), Denmark (30%) and Germany (26%).
Looking outside of the EU, Turkey remained the leading European country in terms of national market share with Turkish films taking a record share of 58% of total admissions in 2013, a level unparalleled in any other European market in the past few decades.
A statement from the European Audiovisual Observatory said increasing ticket prices was no longer offsetting the decline in admissions.
“Though it is too early to estimate total gross box office (GBO) for the EU, preliminary data suggests that - in contrast to the past three years - increasing ticket prices in 19 out of 25 EU markets no longer sufficed to compensate for the decline in admissions with GBO declining in 14 out of the 25 EU markets for which data were available.
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