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Attendance levels in Belgian cinemas on the rise in 2015


- The Belgian cinema market rose 3.8% compared to 2014 for member theatres of the Federation of Belgian Cinemas

Attendance levels in Belgian cinemas on the rise in 2015
The Brand New Testament by Jaco Van Dormael

When it comes to the film exhibition sector in Belgium, no official statistics exist. This means that, for several years, these numbers have had to be extrapolated using data released by the Federation of Belgian Cinemas (FCB, which releases attendance figures for its members and certain other exhibitors operating in the field, totalling around 25 cinemas), as well as those made public by the Kinepolis group.

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Based on these numbers, we can see noticeable growth in national attendance levels in 2015. After a tough start to the year, not helped by the relatively low number of films with a high drawing power, the second half of the year saw a significant boost in the market thanks to both American blockbusters (Spectre [+see also:
making of
film profile
and Star Wars 7 in particular) and the success of some national films, such as The Brand New Testament [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Jaco van Dormael
film profile
representing the French-speaking market, and FC De Kampioenen 2: Jubilee General [+see also:
film profile
and Safety First [+see also:
film profile
for the Flemish-speaking sector. Nevertheless, the lockdown of public spaces imposed in Brussels at the end of November and the security presence introduced as a result of the terrorist attacks will have very noticeably diminished this effort to make up for lost ground in cinema attendance in Brussels and, to a lesser extent, Antwerp. 

In 2015, a total of 9.8 million audience members were welcomed into member cinemas of the FCB, and Kinepolis has revealed that 9.2 million viewers attended their Belgian cinemas. These two numbers bring the total number of visitors for 89% of Belgian movie theatres to 19 million viewers. We can, therefore, extrapolate that the total number of Belgian filmgoers is somewhere around 21.3 million, a growth of 3.8% compared to 2014. This number represents a net decrease compared to the results recorded in 2010/2011, but it is the best result in three years.

With this growth of 3.8%, Belgium finds itself just below the average recorded growth in Europe of 5.2%. A pleasing result given the security conditions that greatly slowed activity at the tail end of the year.

(Translated from French)

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