The report shows total EU box office returns remaining stable at €6.4 billion and the digital rollout making progress.

UNIC, the European grouping of cinema associations and cinema operators, has published its annual report during the association’s annual convention, CineEurope, which is being held in Barcelona this year.

The 2011 UNIC annual report — which covers the EU, Russia, Turkey and Israel — shows box office returns remaining at a stable €6.4 billion despite the impact of the economic crisis in some UNIC territories.

Russia saw an 18 percent increase in box office, as did France, which was up 4.5 percent and Norway, up 5.8 percent as a result of strong local films.

In 2011, digital roll-out reached 60 per cent of all UNIC screens. Norway was the first territory to become completely digital in 2011, closely followed by Luxembourg. Countries which should complete the transition in 2012 include the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark.

Ad Weststrate, president of UNIC said: “The fact that now more than 60 percent of all UNIC screens are equipped with digital technology is both exciting news but also should act as a reminder to those who have not yet taken action that time to do so is running out. Digital technology offers audiences access to a wider range of high quality content and opens up many new business opportunities to cinemas, if we get the roll-out right”.