EU box office inches to record high in 2011: as European comedies provide welcome relief and 3D matures
Press release European Audiovisueal Observatory, 14 may 2012
2011 was a year of stabilisation at the European box office as the marked upward trend of GBO of the past two years slowed down significantly, resulting nevertheless in an overall year-on-year increase. Based on provisional data the European Audiovisual Observatory estimates that EU gross box office returns increased marginally by 0.7% from EUR 6.37 billion to EUR 6.4 billion, still the highest level on record. Cinema attendance remained stable with an estimated 962 million tickets sold.
Though the number of 3D releases as well as 3D screens increased notably in 2011, the format seemed to be maturing in some markets like the UK, where, despite an increasing number of 3D releases – from 28 in 2010 to 47 in 2011 – 3D share dropped from 24% to 20% of total GBO. As a result 3D failed to further swell average ticket prices as had been the case in 2009 and 2010, with the EU-wide average ticket price increasing by only 0.5% to EUR 6.6.
Comeback for European films
2011 saw European films claiming back market share which they had lost to US 3D blockbusters in 2009 and 2010. Based on provisional figures, estimated market share for European films in the EU climbed from 25.2% to 28.5% in 2011, back to the ‘pre-3D’ levels of 2007 and 2008. Market share for US films (1) on the other hand fell from 68.5% to an estimated 61.4%. This would be lowest level since 2001.
The comeback of European films was mainly thanks to a series of local comedies such as Intouchables (FR), The Inbetweeners (UK), Kokowääh (DE) or Che bella giornata (IT), all of which performed extremely well, particularly on their home markets. As a result national market share increased in 15 of the 23 EU member states for which data were available, eight of which achieved the highest market share in the past five years.
For more information download the press release by the European Audiovisual Observatory:
Press release EAO 14 may 2012