On the occasion of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival the European Audiovisual Observatory releases its first estimates for European cinema attendance in 2013. The Observatory estimates that total admissions in the European Union dropped by 4.1% to 908 million tickets sold, around 39 million less than in 2012 (947 million). This would mark the second lowest admissions level in the EU since the turn of the century.
More than two thirds of EU markets experienced a decline in admissions, while admission levels increased in only 8 out of the 26 EU territories for which provisional data were available. The cumulative admissions drop in the EU was however driven by the significant decline in four out of the five largest EU markets: Spain (-15.2 million; -16%), France (-10.8 million; -5.3%), the UK (-7 million; -4%) and Germany (-5.4 million; -4%). Only Italy withstood the general downward trend with admissions estimated to have grown by 6.6% to 106.7 million tickets sold. Apart from Italy, year-on-year growth in cinema attendance of over 1% could only be achieved in six Central and Eastern European member states, led by Bulgaria (+16.7%), Romania (+13.8%) and Lithuania (+6.8%).
As often in the past years, significant growth was only achieved outside of the EU. With admissions growing by 10.5% to 173.5 million tickets sold in 2013 the Russian Federation overtook the UK as the second largest European market in terms of admissions. Box office records were also broken in Turkey, with cinema attendance growing by 14.8% to 50.4 million admissions, the highest level in the past few decades.