Cultural diversity

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European film production grows to record high

“EU film production reached a record high in 2008 as admissions to European films remained strong.” This was the finding of the European Audiovisual Observatory, which confirmed in a recent press release that

  • a record 1,145 feature films (including feature documentaries) were produced in the EU in 2008;
  • European films took a market share of 28.4% in 2008;
  • Mamma Mia! and Quantum of Solace topped the European charts; and
  • Cinema attendance in the 27 member states of the European Union increased by 0.5%, to reach 924 million admissions in 2008.

“Based on available data, the European Audiovisual Observatory estimates that European films achieved a provisional market share of 28.4% of total admissions in the European Union, almost matching the previous record high of 28.6% in 2007 and staying well above previous years’ levels.

The enormous success of national films in many markets was largely responsible for maintaining European market share at this high level. Out of 24 member states for which data were available, 14 countries registered an increase in national market shares on a year-on-year basis. In addition, in 11 of these countries national market share reached its highest level in the past five years. France led the pack, with Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis and Astérix aux Jeux Olympiques bringing local market share to 45.4%, the highest level since 1984. Local films like Keinohrhasen and Die Welle propelled national market share in Germany to a record high of 26.6%, up 7.7 percentage points from 2007. Other countries achieving high national market shares included the Czech Republic (39.6%), Denmark (33%), the UK (31%), Italy (29.3%), Poland (25.4%), and Slovakia (15.6%).

Supported by strong results on the home market, French productions took a 12.6% share of total admissions in the European Union, up from 8.4% in 2007. Italian films contributed 3.6% to total EU admissions, followed by German films (3.5%) and UK productions—excluding those considered as inward investments (2.2%). UK films had enjoyed an exceptionally high market share in 2007 due to the pan-European success of Mr. Bean’s Holiday.

Films produced in Europe (chiefly in the UK) with incoming US investment, such as Quantum of Solace, increased their market share from 6.3% to 6.8%. Market share for US films remained stable at 63.2%, noted the Observatory.

The Observatory press release is available in English, French, and German.

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