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BOX OFFICE Europe

EU admissions approach 1bn mark again in 2009

Admissions in the European Union (EU) increased to about 985 million in 2009, according to the first estimates for European cinema attendance of last year, which the European Audiovisual Observatory will announce at the 60th Berlinale.

Admissions increased in 18 out of the 24 EU member states for which data were available. In absolute terms Germany registered the most significant growth (+16.9 million, +13.1%), followed by France (+10.9 million, +5.7%), the United Kingdom (+9.3 million, +5.6%) and Poland (+5.4 million, +16.1%). For the first time in the past five years Spain reported an increase in admissions (+2.8%), whereas attendance decreased marginally in Italy (-0.4%).

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Outside of the EU, the Russian Federation continued its growth trend of the past years with admissions growing by 11.8% to reach 138.5 million tickets sold, holdings its position as the fourth largest cinema market in Europe in terms of cinema attendance.

National market shares decreased in 19 out of the 24 countries for which data were available. Though it is too early to estimate European market shares, it would appear that US films such as Ice Age 3 (3D), Avatar (3D), 2012, Up (3D) or Angels & Demons, played an preponderant role in growing overall cinema attendance in Europe in 2009.

Only a few European countries proved an exception to this overall trend. Thanks to the Millenium trilogy, Sweden registered a record year in 2009, with admissions to local films increasing by 81.5% year-on-year, and local market share climbing to 32.7%, the highest level on record. In Germany national films topped the record market share of the previous year, capturing 27.4% of total admissions, which is particularly impressive in light of the strong overall growth of cinema attendance in 2009. 2009 also was an excellent year for Spanish cinema with admissions to local films like Agora [+see also:
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]
, Planet 51 [+see also:
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]
or Cell 211 [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Daniel Monzón
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]
increasing by 35% year-on-year and capturing a market share of 15.4%. Also, Austrian films generated a record market share of 8% in 2009. Despite a drop from 58% to 51% in 2009, Turkey remains the leading European country in terms of national market share.

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