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DISTRIBUTION / RELEASES / EXHIBITORS Europe / Spain

The International Union of Cinemas unveils its annual report at CineEurope

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- According to the study, 2021 was a year of recovery, but 2022 results will be pivotal for the future of cinema exhibition

The International Union of Cinemas unveils its annual report at CineEurope
UNIC president Phil Clapp

On 21 June, the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), the trade association representing cinema operators and their national associations across 39 European territories, published its annual report on key cinema trends in the region in 2021/22. Many of the insights examined in the document were also discussed at CineEurope (20-23 June) in Barcelona, UNIC’s official convention and an important gathering of exhibition professionals from the region and beyond

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The study provides a thorough look at recent trends and developments in the European cinema industry. Having weathered the challenges brought on by the pandemic, 2021 saw cinemas move swiftly along the road to recovery.

In detail, European cinema admissions increased by an estimated 36.4% in 2021, with almost 590 million visits across the region. The box office reached €3.7 billion, an increase of 40.8% on the previous year. At the EU level – including the UK – almost 400 million tickets were sold in cinemas, worth around €3 billion at the box office, marking an increase of 31.1% and 38.4%, respectively.

It is worth mentioning the fact that screens were intermittently shut for the first six months of the year and operating for the remainder under limited occupancy and/or with additional restrictions in place.

Moreover, “the relevance of local European releases was never clearer than during these challenging times, with countries such as France (40.6%), the Czech Republic (38.3%), Serbia (37%), Denmark (37%) and Norway (28.1%) leading the way in terms of national films’ market share, with several European and international titles managing to break box-office records at the national and international level”, the report highlights.

In addition, the 2021 figures and the predictions for 2022 “provide ample demonstration of the resilience of the cinema sector, underpinned by the insatiable public appetite for the cinema-going experience”.

Commenting on the report’s results, UNIC president Phil Clapp said: “While the numbers shown here for 2021 are very positive, it remains the case that these are still challenging times for the European cinema sector. As a consequence, all industry stakeholders and policy-makers need to continue to pursue efforts aimed at ensuring the survival of local cinemas, whatever their size and location. The only way to achieve this is to focus on ensuring both sustainability for all stakeholders in the value chain and the availability of films to the benefit of audiences. 2022 will be a pivotal year for the industry. UNIC members are confident that the cinema industry will bounce back stronger from this crisis and that, as before, the audience will continue to enjoy films together, on the big screen.” The full report is available here.

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