European Film Ticket Sales Drop 4.1 Percent in 2013

Frozen Film Still - H 2014

Frozen Film Still - H 2014

Admissions slip in Germany, the U.K. and France while Italy recovers slightly and Spanish ticket sales collapse.

Theatrical ticket sales dipped across the European Union last year, with overall admissions down 4.1 percent to 908 million, according to figures released Friday by the European Audiovisual Observatory. That's 39 million less than in 2012 and marks the second-lowest level since 2000.

Admissions were down in two thirds of the 26 countries of the E.U., with sales slipping 4 percent in the U.K. and Germany, 5.3 percent in France and a jaw-dropping 16.1 percent in recession-battered Spain. Italy, which has seen ticket sales collapse since 2008, bounced back slightly last year, with admissions increasing 6.6 percent.

The corresponding drop in box office was not as severe, as higher ticket prices, helped in part by surcharges for 3D screenings, helped lessen the pain. In the U.K. and Germany, for example, box office revenue was down just 1.5 percent and 1 percent respectively. Overall box office revenue data was not available in all E.U. countries.

It was a different story on the E.U. periphery, where the movie business is still booming. Russia posted double-digit growth in both admissions and box office last year, as did Turkey, which saw box office revenue increase nearly 20 percent and admissions top 50 million, the highest level in decades.