Half of German Movie Screens Now Digital

Nearly one-third of the territory’s screens are 3D capable.

COLOGNE, Germany – Germany’s digital cinema roll-out is picking up pace, according to a study from the German Federal Film Board, which found that half of the country’s movie screens are now digital, compared to just 3 percent six years ago.

In total, Germany now has 2,252 digital screens, of which 1,353 are 3D equipped. That means nearly a third of all screens in Germany are 3D.

The rapid digital roll-out of the past few years has helped boost overall revenues for the territory. Attendance figures varied over the seven-year-period studied by the Film Board – in 2003 some 149 million tickets were sold in Germany, last year it was below 130 million.

But overall box office revenue has climbed – hitting $1.17 billion (€955 million) last year, an 11 percent increase on 2003. The major factor in the jump was an increase in average ticket prices, which climbed 30 percent over the past seven years to $9.15 (€7.47). A substantial part of that increase was due to surcharges for 3D screenings.

The 3D and digital roll-out in Germany looks set to continue its rapid pace. The Film Board’s survey of cinema owners  said more than three quarters (78 percent) are reporting plans to upgrade their theaters, with half saying they would introduce 3D equipment.