European Audiovisual Observatory Report 2017

#Industry: Irish people remain the biggest film fans in Europe

The European Audiovisual Observatory has released its roundup of the cinema attendance and box office receipts for last year from across Europe. Based on provisional data, cumulative gross box office receipts in the EU Member States topped €7 billion for the third year in a row.

The Irish love affair with the silver screen continued with Irish cinema attendance was up 2.1% from 2016, meaning that Ireland once again recorded the highest per-capita attendance with 3.48 visits per person. France comes second with 3.21 visits, while our near neighbours in the UK recorded 2.62 visits per person.

Year on year box office receipts for Ireland rose 4.6% from €108.9 to €114 (not adjusted for inflation), bucking the European trend which saw figures drop by 0.3%. Pan-European average ticket price remained stable at an estimated €7.1.

One of the startlingly facts emerging from the figures is that Ireland recorded the second lowest percentage of national cinema share in the EU, excepting Malta and Cyprus where figures were unavailable. That means that Irish people are choosing international films over domestic content by a considerable margin. 2017’s percentage share of box office for Irish films was 2.4%, down from 4.3% in 2016.

Box office growth was strong in Central and Eastern Europe, recording a solid upturn in the Slovak Republic (+€5.5 million, +18.9%), Lithuania (+€2.7 million, +15.2%), Poland (+PLN 104.9 million, +10.8%) and Romania (+RON 25.0 million, +10.3%). Out of the five major EU markets, a moderate rise in the GBO was registered in Germany (+€33.1 million, +3.2%) and the UK (+GBP 50.7 million, +4.1%), while revenues remained relatively stable in France and Spain.

Italy showed a significant dip in GBO (-€82.6 million, -11.9%), driven by a sizeable downturn in admissions, primarily to national films. Box office revenues also dropped slightly in Denmark (-DKK 39.9 million, -3.6%) and Austria (-€2.6 million, -1.9%).

US studio titles dominated the EU box office chart, representing 19 out of the top 20 films in 2017. The list was topped by the franchise animation film Despicable Me 3 (32.3 million admissions), followed by Disney’s live action reboot of Beauty and the Beast (29.8 million) and Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (28.8 million).

Christopher Nolan’s war drama Dunkirk was the only non-US film to rank in the top 20, with 17.2 million tickets sold.

More information is available from the EAO website, and can be purchased in detail in their FOCUS 2018 World Film Market Trends publication.