The Russian Federation became Europe's fourth largest cinema market in terms of cinema attendance in 2008, according to estimates from the Strasbourg-based European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO).

Russian cinemas posted the biggest year-on-year increase in absolute terms among 31 European countries with a 16% increase. Russian admissions rose by 17.3m to 123.9m admissions.

France retained the pole position as Europe's leading cinema-going nation with 188.8m admissions, followed by the UK (164.2m) and Germany (129.4m).

The EAO's first estimates show that total attendance in the European Union's 27 member states remained stable in 2008 rising by just 0.3% over the 2007 level to 920m.