During the past year, European cinemas suffered a 70.4% decrease in box office, amounting to a total decrease of €6.2 billion in revenues compared to 2019. A similar 70.6% reduction was observed in the European Union, resulting in a €5.1 billion drop in revenues, according to the latest report from The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC).
These challenging figures reflect the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the cinema industry, which resulted in months of complete closure and occupancy restrictions across Europe and globally. At the same time, this performance comes after a very successful 2019, when European cinemas grossed over €8.8 billion at the box office and attracted more than 1.34 billion cinema-goers.
The European cinema trade group’s "Annual Report" examined key cinema trends across the 38 territories represented by the association during 2020. The study provides an in-depth look at recent developments in Europe’s cinema industry during a period when Covid had a significant impact on the sector, as it did so many others.
For example, The International Union of Cinemas revealed that as much as €4.5 billion were lost in other revenues for the European industry. Local theaters were on a path of steady growth when they were hit by the pandemic, having increased by 34% between 2000 to 2019, the report noted.
While cinemas were shut down for most of the year and US blockbusters deserted screens, the market share of European films rose to 39.7%, compared with 25.7% in 2019 and 29.4% in 2018. The European Union’s top five territories in terms of market share for national films were Italy (55.6%), Poland (53.2%), Denmark (49.7%), France (44.9%), and the Czech Republic (46.4%).
The Spanish comedy “Padre no hay más que uno 2: La llegada de la suegra” and the French comedy “30 jours max” were the top two most successful European films of the year, with 2.3 million and 1.2 million admissions, respectively. These two were followed by the French family film “Les blagues de Toto”; Ben Stassen’s animated feature “Bigfoot Family”; and Thomas Vinterberg’s Oscar-winning Danish film “Drunk”.