Industry Report: Distribution and exhibition
Christian Grece • Analyst, European Audiovisual Observatory
- European Audiovisual Observatory analyst Christian Grece gives some insights on their new report "How do films circulate on VOD services and in cinemas in the European Union", that you can have a look at here.
Difficulties for EU theatrical films to be distributed on VOD – less than half make it to VOD.
Theatrically released EU films have difficulties in securing a release on VOD services inside the EU; less than half of EU films released between 2005 and 2014 in European cinemas were available on VOD in October 2015. This difficulty in being added to VOD services is general for films of all origin, except for US films for which 9 out of 10 films released in EU cinemas did manage to get onto VOD. The reasons for this gap are not clear (perhaps studio relationships with VOD services, marketing expenses, the success of a film are influencing factors); however, to be distributed on VOD, a theatrical release seems to be a requirement for EU films for the time being.
The existence of “natural markets” for EU films in cinemas and on VOD – on average, EU films are distributed in 4 countries in cinemas and in 3 on VOD services in the EU.
40% of EU films are only released in their home market in cinemas and on VOD and 70% of all EU films were theatrically released or available on VOD in 3 countries or less. This demonstrates the challenges for EU films to circulate in a significant number of other EU countries beyond their home market and culturally-close (language, cultural influence) neighbouring countries, whether in cinemas or on VOD.
Films have a higher number of release markets in cinemas than on VOD in the EU (for theatrical released films).
On average, EU and US films have a wider distribution (one more country) in cinemas than on VOD services. The only categories of films which have a wider distribution on VOD than in cinemas in the EU are films of international origin (non-European and non-US origin); VOD represents an opportunity to widen the number of release markets for these films in the EU, which have a wider distribution (two more countries) on average than in cinemas.
Animation is the film genre which circulates best in cinemas and on VOD; documentaries are the only film genre to have a wider circulation on VOD than in cinemas.
Animation is the film genre which has the widest circulation, regardless of origin. On average, animation films are released in almost 10 countries in cinemas and available in 8 on VOD. However, here again the gap between EU animation and US animation is important. US animation films are released on average in close to 17 countries in cinemas, for EU animation this average falls to 6 countries. On VOD, US animation films are available in almost 15 countries, EU films only in 4.
Documentaries are the film genre with the lowest circulation in cinemas (2.8 countries on average) and on VOD (3.3 countries on average) but also the only one for which the circulation is better on VOD than in cinemas. However, EU documentaries do not profit from this; their circulation remains the same in cinemas and on VOD – 2.6 countries – whereas documentaries of all other origin have a wider circulation on VOD than in cinemas.