3D drives Euro digital screen growth

Digital screens more than triple to 4,693 in 2009

CANNES -- The number of digital screens in Europe more than tripled to 4,693 last year according to official figures released by the European Audiovisual Observatory. France, with 904 digital screens, leads the pack, followed by the U.K. (668 digital screens), Germany (592) and Italy (428). Market penetration in Europe for digital screens topped 13% last year, compared to 4.1% in 2008.

The bulk of Euro theater owners going digital are also upgrading to 3D. 68.8% of European digi screens are also 3D equipped. That's better than North America, where, according to MPAA's figures, less than half of the 7,736 digital screens on the continent are 3D ready.

In several European territories, including Italy, Spain, Russia, the Netherlands and Poland, more than 80% of digital screens are 3D.

But Europe's digital rollout is being powered by just a handful of exhibitors. Just 5% of Euro exhibitors account for more than a third of all digital screens in the region. Leading the war are France's CGR with 13% of all of Europe's digi screens, followed by Kinepolis (6.8%) and Cineworld Group (5.6%).
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