Box Office – Belgium
Country Focus: Belgium
Belgium saw a serious fall in attendance in 2013
by Aurore Engelen
- Despite a very strong end-of-year performance for Flemish cinema, theatre attendance fell significantly in 2013
The Federation of Belgian Cinemas (FCB) – whose members represent almost half of Belgian exhibitors – has announced that cinema attendance decreased by 7% in 2013. Given that there are no official figures for Belgium, some clever cross-referencing had to be carried out to estimate the results. The figures announced immediately afterwards by Kinepolis – which represents almost all of the other half of the market – confirm this widespread decline, as the group has announced a drop of 7.9% in its European territories (Belgium, France and Spain). FCB-affiliated cinemas welcomed an audience of 9.1 million viewers, while Kinepolis reported a figure of 9.2 million, which takes the total audience figures for 89% of Belgian theatres up to 18.3 million. The most dramatic fall was observed in Wallonia (-10%), followed by Brussels (-6.9%). On the other hand, the impressive results enjoyed by local films at the end of 2013 revived the Flemish market, which, as a result, recorded a slight increase (+0.3%). “If we extrapolate this, the total number of cinemagoers in the Belgian theatres would be 20.3 million, a fall of 4.6% compared to 2012,” estimates the FCB.
The top three spots at the box office were occupied by two sequels and a Disney title (The Hobbit 2, Hunger Games 2 and Frozen), but that is not to say that this was an all-trouncing victory for them, especially as three local titles slipped into the top 12. FC De Kampionen, an adaptation of a cult television series in Flanders, drew in 545,000 viewers, Marina [+see also:
interview: Cristiano Bortone
film profile] by Stijn Coninx (who is making his big return as the king of the box office following his 1990s successes Daens and Koko Flanel) wowed almost 400,000 cinemagoers, and The Verdict [+see also:
film profile] by Jan Verheyen had over 380,000 admissions. On the other hand, French-language Belgian cinema saw far less impressive results than the ones it had in 2012 thanks to the success of Ernest & Célestine [+see also:
interview: Benjamin Renner, Vincent Pa…
film profile]. The best results were achieved by La Marche [+see also:
interview: Nabil Ben Yadir
film profile] by Nabil Ben Yadir (almost 21,000 admissions), followed by Une chanson pour ma mère [+see also:
film profile] by Joël Franka (slightly over 17,000 admissions). We wager that 2014 will be a better year, particularly with the release of the long-awaited new film by the Dardenne brothers, Two Days, One Night, starring Marion Cotillard.
(Translated from French)
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