More European films released internationally, but admissions fall

The number of European films released outside of Europe grew by 8.5% in 2016, according to research from the European Audiovisual Observatory. However, the number of cinema admissions in the 12 non-European markets studied fell sharply.

According to the Observatory, 650 European films were on theatrical release in at least one of the markets covered by its research in 2016, representing an 8.5% rise year-on-year. This was the largest number of European films released outside Europe over a five-year period and represents about 11% of the total number of European films on release worldwide, including in Europe.

However, cinema admissions in the 12 markets covered fell from 108 million to 82 million in 2016, resulting in an estimated gross box office take for European films outside Europe of €475 million.

European films accounted for 19% of the tracked number of films on release, in line with the five-year average, and 2% of the admissions generated in the 12 non-European sample markets, the lowest market share in the past five years.

The US remains the largest foreign market for European films, accounting for 32% of total admissions to European films outside of Europe. China was the second largest market in terms of admissions with 18.6 million tickets sold in 2016, accounting for 23% of total admissions. This was followed by Mexico, with 12% of total admissions, Australia – 7% – and South Korea –6%.

The UK overtook France as the most successful European film export country in 2016 with UK films cumulatively selling 44.6 million tickets, accounting for 55% of total admissions. French films came in second place, with 14.1 million admissions, representing 17% of total admissions to European films.

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