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The median average budget of a European theatrical fiction film is €2.06 million, according to a European Audiovisual Observatory report.

The report, based on films released in 2020, found that the largest financing source was direct public funding which contributed 26% of the total financing volume, followed by producer investments and broadcaster investments, both of which accounted for 18% of total financing.

Production incentives made up 17% of an average budget, while pre-sales (excluding broadcasting rights) accounted for 14%.

Financing structures for theatrical fiction films in Europe

Source: European Audiovisual Observatory

Financing structures for theatrical fiction films in Europe in 2020

However, public funding varies in importance depending on market size. Public funding only contributed 20% of total financing in large markets such as the UK and France, but accounted for 44% in medium-sized and 58% in small sample markets.

In contrast, pre-sales tend to be more important in large markets, where they accounted for 15%, compared to ‘only’ 10% in medium-sized and 9% in small sample markets.

The report noted that average budgets differ widely among countries, depending on their size. The median budget of a European fiction film originating in France, Germany, Italy, Poland or the UK was €2.7 million in 2020 compared to €1.8 million for films produced in a medium-sized European market and €1.1 million for films from small markets.

The report is the result of collaboration project between the European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, and the European Film Agency Research Network (EFARN). It was authored by Martin Kanzler, deputy head of the Observatory’s Department for Market Information.

It was based on the budget analysis of 482 European live-action fiction films released / scheduled for in 2020.