The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), which represents the European exhibition industry, has called on policymakers to “enforce strong recovery strategies” as the 2020 box office drops 70.6% compared to the previous year across the region.
European cinemas brought in €6.2bn less in revenues than in 2019; with those in the European Union recording a 69% reduction in box office and €4bn revenue drop.
The losses are predominantly caused by government-enforced closures due to the coronavirus pandemic; with additional impact on revenues coming from lost concession sales, cancelled events and reduced advertising income.
“The crisis is far from over,” said UNIC in a statement. “[We] urge policymakers at the local, national and European level to enforce strong recovery strategies to ensure that European cinemas – of all sizes and all locations – can survive this challenging period and be once again the vibrant home of culture, freedom and community that they always have been.”
The UK (still in the EU in 2020) was one of the worst-hit European territories, suffering a 76% reduction in box office, compared to Portugal (75%), Spain (73%), Italy (71%), Germany (70%) and France (69%, based on admissions).
All European territories were negatively affected by the downturn; those to have suffered slightly less include Denmark (47%), the Netherlands (56%), Russia (59%) and Lithuania (62%).
In 2019 European cinemas grossed over €8.8bn, bringing in more than 1.34bn admissions. European Union cinemas passed the 1bn admissions mark for the first time since 2004.
While overall box office was down significantly, local titles fared proportionately better year-on-year, with market share up across the region. Turkey was far out in front with an 80% share for homegrown films, followed by Italy with 57%, Poland on 50% and Denmark with 49%.