CinemaCon: European Box Office Hits $9.76 Billion in 2015

Courtesy of Lucasfilms 2015/Walt Disney Studios
'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

Europe, which accounts for 24 percent of global box-office revenues, saw attendance increase last year.

With the media focusing on the increased box-office revenues rolling in from the Asian-Pacific territories, European exhibitors on Monday released a report to underscore the importance of the European markets, which contribute 24 percent of global box-office revenues — just behind the United States’ 27 percent — and saw a 9.6 percent increase in box-office revenue in 2015 to $9.76 billion.

The report from the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), which represents exhibitors in 36 European territories, showing films in 35 languages, said that 2015’s box-office revenues reflected 1.26 billion visits to the cinema, up six percent from the previous year.

“In an increasingly closely connected and international film business, European cinemas are essential to the well-being of the global film industry, while acting as role models when it comes to championing international business excellence, innovation and collaboration," U.K. Cinema Association CEO and UNIC president Phil Clapp said in releasing the report.

The U.K. box office, where revenues increased by 17.3 percent, led the surge, with Germany contributing a 19.1 percent increase in box office. France recorded the most admissions (206 million), followed by Russia (176 million), the U.K. (172 million) and Germany (139 million).

While Hollywood blockbusters from Jurassic World to  Star Wars: The Force Awakens contributed to much of the increase in moviegoing, European countries also produced 1,700 films of their own. Local productions seized the biggest part of the national market in Turkey, where they claimed a 56.8 percent share. The U.K. ranked second with locally produced films accounting for 44.5 percent of the market — although in the case of the U.K., Star Wars and Spectre were classified as locally produced movies. And France ranked third, with homegrown movies taking 35.2 percent of the market.

The highest rate of moviegoing was logged in Ireland, where admissions amounted to 3.3 visits per capita, followed by France at 3.1 visits per capita. Among all the European territories, the average was 1.5 visits per capita.

Digital conversion reached 95 percent of the European theaters in 2015, while the number of screens across UNIC territories remained relatively stable at 38,700.