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Gianni Profita & Ph. Wolff on European Cinema figures

The number of tickets sold on the 18 markets of Western Europe grows by 0.9% in 2002, rising from 958 to 966 million. Admissions are down, however, in the countries of Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean Rim, where they record an overall dip of 4.6%, from 106 to 101 million tickets sold in the 2001-2002 period.

These are some of the figures presented in the new “European Cinema Yearbook” – 2003 advance edition, produced by MEDIA Salles and presented at Taormina this morning, Saturday 15 November, during the opening plenary session of the “Meeting of experts on the reform of the instruments to encourage the European audiovisual industry”, organised by the Ministry of Cultural Resources and Affairs – General Direction for the Cinema with the support of the European Commission.

With an introduction by the Director General of DG Cinema, Gianni Profita, and an explanation of the main new developments by Joachim Ph. Wolff, Vice-President of MEDIA Salles, the Yearbook, now in its twelfth edition, served as support for work carried out at the seminar devoted to “The Opportunities and Risks of EU Expansion for the European Audiovisual Industry and its Support Policies”.
This edition of the Yearbook offers an even more detailed comparison between European and American screens. The results show that a decrease in the numbers of American screens (-5%) between 2000 and 2002, corresponds to an increase in Western Europe (+6.3%), which takes place in the context of a steady growth in screen numbers over several years. From 1995 to 2002, for example, the number of screens in Western Europe increased by 35.6%. In 2001 the number of American screens, instead, began to drop (from 37,396 in 2000 to 36,764 in 2001 and 35,280 the following year).
The number of multiplexes, however, is on the rise in both countries: in the 32 countries analysed in the Yearbook, there was a 12% increase in this type of cinema, reaching a total of 836 complexes mainly in the countries of Western Europe from January 2002 to January 2003. The percentage increase on American territory (+1.2% during 2002) was far lower than in previous years but sufficient to reach a total of almost two thousand complexes (1,911).
In both territories it is mainly the larger complexes in the multiplex category that experience the highest growth. Indeed, megaplexes (16 screens or more) grow by 16% in Europe (increasing from 51 to 59) and by 10% in the USA (from 431 to 474). Complexes with 8 to 15 screens, on the other hand, are on the increase in Europe only (+12%), whilst they decrease slightly in America (-1.4%).
The density of meglaplexes (i.e. the ratio of these to the total number of existing cinemas) is, however, much higher in the USA where, in 2003, it reached 32% (1,911 complexes with 8 or more screens out of a total of 6,050), whilst in Europe it stands at 6% (836 multiplexes out of a total of 14,726).

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