Italy Cinema Ticket Sales Rose in February; Troubled Sector Shows Signs of Life

Despite higher ticket sales, revenue was still down for the month due to strong sales for higher-priced 3D tickets a year ago.

ROME – Italy’s struggling cinema sector showed signs of recovery in February, according to information released Thursday from cinema monitoring company Cinetel, which said that ticket sales for the month were 4.6 percent higher than in February 2012.

That’s a big improvement compared to January, when ticket sales were 23 percent lower than a year earlier. If the February sales, which totaled 7.65 million tickets, do prove to be the start of an upward trend it would be a welcome change for the cinema sector, which has contracted for each of the last two years.

In February, the highest grossing film was Alessandro Siani’s comedy Il principe abusive (The Abusive Prince), which took in €10.2 million ($13.3 million), despite hitting cinemas mid-month.

But even February’s overall positive results had some negative news: despite the year-on-year increase in ticket sales, total revenue from those sales was down 1.8 percent compared to the same month in 2012. Cinetel said the culprit was the higher number of 3D films in cinemas a year ago. Generally, 3D films have higher ticket process than regular films.