Country Focus: Romania
First half of 2010 sees 59% increase over 2009
by Stefan Dobroiu
08/07/2010 - Several new multiplexes and 3D blockbusters brought a significant increase in Romanian admissions figures in the first half of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009, according to data announced by film distributors.
During the first six months of 2009, 2.03 million tickets were sold in Romanian cinemas, while in 2010 that number rose to 3.23m, a 59% increase. The boost is even greater in terms of box office gross, thanks to the increasing number of 3D screens and the December 2009 opening of the first IMAX cinema in Romania.
Overall box office revenues for the first half of 2009 amounted to 32.84m lei (approximately €7.8m), while 2010 numbers are 72% higher, amounting to 56.65m lei (approximately €13.6m).
Released at the end of 2009, James Cameron's Avatar alone amassed around 880,000 admissions in 27 weeks. The 3D US blockbuster is responsible for a quarter of this year's entire cinema box office.
In 2009, the total number of admissions rose to 5,279,932, compared to only 3,120,106 in 2008, according to the Romanian National Centre of Cinema. The numbers are expected to exceed seven million in 2010.
The most popular title of 2009 was the animated, 3D Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, with 337,000 admissions in 38 weeks. The most successful local film was the omnibus Tales From the Golden Age: Part I [trailer], with 26,520 admissions. As for 2010, Florin Şerban’s If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle [trailer] has already garnered more than 52,000 admissions since its release in March, one month after winning the Jury Grand Prix and the Alfred Bauer Award at this year's Berlinale.
With only 182 screens and 49,871 seats in 2009, Romania has one of the biggest numbers of inhabitants per screen in Europe – as many as 117,857. The numbers will change for 2010, with several multiplexes opening throughout the country.