European boxoffice belies global blues
Ticket sales steady; Russia comes on like gangbustersMore Berlinale coverage
BERLIN -- Good news for attendees at this year's European Film Market: Despite the overall economic slowdown, cinema admissions in Europe held steady in 2008.
Official figures released Monday by European Audiovisual Observatory actually showed a slight uptick, with attendance 0.3% higher than in 2007.
Russia showed the strongest gains, where admissions grew by 17.3 million tickets, or 16%, to 124 million tickets sold. This makes Russia the fourth-largest cinema market in Europe in terms of admissions. That might be cold comfort for sellers whose Russian buyers are defaulting on existing deals, but it does bode well for the long-term health of the territory.
France also posted strong grow, with admissions up by 6.2%, Germany posted a 3.2% jump and the U.K. was flat with ticket sales up just 1.1%.
The sick man of Europe was Spain, where admissions fell for the fourth concecutive year, dropping by another 8.9 million tickets, or 7.6%.
Tuesday's figures also showed how Europeans remain hungry for local titles. The national market share for homegrown product exceeded 30% in five countries: Turkey (60%), France (45.7%), the Czech Republic (39.6%), Denmark (33%) and the U.K. (31%) while several territories including Germany, Norway and Poland posted near-record national market shares.