Report: Scandinavian ticket sales up


LONDON -- Cinema admissions across Scandinavia and the Baltic states are forecast to jump 15% by 2011, according to the latest research from U.K.-based cinema research analysts Dodona Research.

Titled Cinemagoing Scandinavia, the report, published Monday, predicts a strong rise in admissions in the larger markets of Denmark and Norway.

The growth will be fueled by the territory's robust domestic film industries, while the small Baltic nations will grow on the back of "continuing economic growth," Dodona says.

The report covers Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden and points to the fact that Icelanders are the most frequent cinemagoers, attending more than five times per person per year.

Norwegians and Danes also enjoy the cinema, with every person visiting more than twice a year, the research indicates.

But it is the emerging Baltic states, where modern cinemas are still relatively new to the market and the depressed markets of Sweden and Finland that are expected to show growth.

Figures indicate that, in recent years, as admissions outside the Baltic States have leveled off, that region has seen admissions rise in response to a rash of new multiplex cinemas opening.

"Investment in a series of multiplexes over the last five years, along with lower ticket prices and an increasingly wealthy population has finally paid off (for the Baltic region)," report author Alisdair Ritchie said.

Ticket prices in the seven other countries covered in the report have risen and are relatively high compared to other European ticket prices, averaging about €8.50 ($12). It is the rise in cost that has kept boxoffice on an upward trend, according to Dodona.

"Although Scandinavia is not one of the most dynamic cinema markets in the world, it has some interesting features that should not be overlooked" Ritchie said. "These include Norway's plans to achieve a complete conversion to DCI specification digital cinema by 2008, putting it at the forefront of European digital cinema adoption."