Screen International today launches Independent Distribution In Western Europe 2011, a new report offering insight, analysis and data on the health and size of the indie sectors in a range of key markets: the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Benelux and the Nordic region.

Available to purchase as a downloadable PDF and printed report from Independent Distribution In Western Europe 2011 gives readers the inside track on the complex business realities of the fast-moving film market in Western Europe – and its key buyers.

Sponsored by Europa Distribution and written by Screen International’s network of experts, the report analyses how independent distribution across Europe is being affected by current economic realities, as well as assessing key sectors in each market such as the relationship between distributors and exhibitors, the state of digital cinema conversion, the development of VoD and the health of DVD. The report also looks at selected major independent players in each territory.


US studio releases claim 75% of the UK’s $1.7bn theatrical market, with a range of dynamic independents fighting over the remainder. In this fiercely competitive market buyers have to pay 8%-12% of production budgets on sought-after projects — despite downwards pressure on costs. Plus, why the low level of rentals in the UK is a continuing grievance for indie distributors and the virtual print fee is the biggest issue facing smaller companies.
Box office was down by almost 9% in 2010, but some of Germany’s independent distributors are thriving in a market where the home-entertainment sector remains strong. However, local films saw a pronounced dip at the German box office in 2010 and the roll-out of digital exhibition remains some way off. (See German extract here.)

The French independent distribution business is stronger than in other European territories, with a $2.2bn market supporting a diverse range of product. However, market costs have doubled in a decade and the volume of films being released means that competition is tougher than ever.
The Italian market has seen a succession of local breakouts over the past year. In January the Medusa comedy Beautiful Day grossed $42m in two weeks. The success of local fare is affecting the films independents are buying from overseas – but they have competition in the sector from US majors producing and distributing Italian films.
Against a backdrop of chronic piracy and US studio dominance, Spanish distributors are cautious about what they pick up and prices are lower than in the past. But there is cause for optimism in 2011 – not least because of a strong lineup of films from talented local directors.
Competition in Benelux is pushing up prices in the region leading to more pre-buys among independent distributors. Plus, why a long-running dispute over figures in Belgium is making life hard for distributors; and how a squeeze on public spending could affect the industry.
US films underperformed across much of the region in 2010, but the runaway success of some local films was a boost to independent distributors. Plus, a look at the overlap in ownership in distribution and exhibition, and why ongoing digital conversion is helping indies penetrate their local markets further.

How to buy the report
Independent Distribution In Western Europe 2011 is available to purchase as a downloadable PDF and as a printed report from