European Box Office Hits Four-Year Low in 2018

Courtesy of Marvel Studios
'Avengers: Infinity War' was the top-grossing film in Europe last year

Theatrical revenue across the European Union fell more than $260 million last year to $7.6 billion.

European box office took a hit in 2018, with overall theatrical revenue falling 3.3 percent, or around $260 million, to $7.6 billion (€6.8 billion) last year, according to figures published Thursday by the European Audiovisual Observatory. Not adjusted for inflation, that represents the lowest result since 2014.

Overall attendance fell 2.9 percent, with 956 million tickets sold across Europe last year, 28.7 fewer than in 2017. Germany, where the box office plunged 14.8 percent, by more than $175 million, was hardest hit, but revenues in Italy slipped 5 percent or $34.5 million. Spain was down just under 1 percent, while revenue in France and the U.K. remained relatively stable.

Central and Eastern Europe, however, were strong, with box office up 13 percent in the Czech Republic, 6.3 percent stronger in Hungary and 5 percent up in Poland. Outside the European Union, the Russian box office was also down, off 4.7 percent to $780 million, which still represents the second highest box office of recent years in the territory.

U.S. blockbusters again dominated the European market, accounting for 18 of the 20 most successful films. Avengers: Infinity War was the overall champ, selling 31 million tickets across Europe, followed by Incredibles 2 (27.9 million), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (22.1 million), Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (19.9 million) and Black Panther (18.9 million).

Bohemian Rhapsody (26.4 million admissions) and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (20.2 million) — two British productions, with backing, respectively, from 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. — were the only non U.S. films to feature among the top 20 titles. The top European title without U.S. studio backing was action comedy Johnny English Strikes Again, which drew 7.1 million admissions across Europe last year.