The Sky Continues To Rise: EU Gross Box Office Returns And EU Film Production Both Hit Record Highs In 2011

from the embarrassingly-successful dept

Even though just about every objective statistic suggests otherwise, the copyright industries still take turns bemoaning the terrible toll that piracy is supposedly taking on their markets. So it's good to come across some official figures that suggest the contrary, particularly because in this case they come from the European Audiovisual Observatory—not a market research company, but a public service body. Here are the latest numbers for the European film industry:

2011 was a year of stabilisation at the European box office as the marked upward trend of GBO [gross box office] of the past two years slowed down significantly, resulting nevertheless in an overall year-on-year increase. Based on provisional data the European Audiovisual Observatory estimates that EU gross box office returns increased marginally by 0.7% from EUR 6.37 billion [$8.14 billion] to EUR 6.4 billion [$8.18 billion], still the highest level on record. Cinema attendance remained stable with an estimated 962 million tickets sold.
Note that this is no mere one-off -- the report speaks of a "marked upward trend" of the previous two years that has slowed down significantly, but is still there, leading to what it terms "the highest level on record". That's about box office sales, but maybe the European film industry itself is suffering under the onslaught of popular US movies? It seems not:
2011 saw European films claiming back market share which they had lost to US 3D blockbusters in 2009 and 2010. Based on provisional figures, estimated market share for European films in the EU climbed from 25.2% to 28.5% in 2011, back to the ‘pre-3D’ levels of 2007 and 2008. Market share for US films on the other hand fell from 68.5% to an estimated 61.4%. This would be lowest level since 2001.
The best result for a decade, then. Now, that's all very well, but might still be the result of a few anomalous European blockbusters that have distorted the figures. According to the European Audiovisual Observatory, that's not the case:
EU production levels continued to grow to 1,285 feature films in 2011, 59 films more than in 2010 and a new record high.
In other words, in 2011, Europe note only saw record box office receipts at cinemas, but also record indigenous film production. It's a little hard to see how anyone could try to spin that as another "piracy is destroying the European film industry, we must bring in tougher copyright infringement laws" story, but I'm sure the usual suspects will try their darnedest.

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    Alana (profile), May 16th, 2012 @ 1:11am

    "But we could have made MOAR if it weren't for piracy!" -MPAA.

    /inb4troll /sarc

     

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    PaulT (profile), May 16th, 2012 @ 1:20am

    Interesting study. I do often wonder about the likes of Harry Potter being considered on this kind of list as they're US co-productions, but there's only 6 such films on there. The rest are purely home-grown, and there's some classics in there.

    There's also a number of successful films I'd not heard of previously - largely French and Italian comedies which don't tend to travel too well outside their home countries. This seems to show that while big blockbusters are universally travelled, local film production is taking care of the smaller project that appeal directly to local audiences. This is, of course, exactly how it should be. It doesn't take $200 million to make a movie to make a big profit if done right.

    I await the usual trolls to tell us why this is a bad thing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2012 @ 1:50am

    you are forgetting to bring the 'Hollywood Accounting' into the frame. using that configuration shows the returns are non-existing. BIG difference!!

     

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      ltlw0lf (profile), May 16th, 2012 @ 6:58am

      Re:

      you are forgetting to bring the 'Hollywood Accounting' into the frame.

      It is so funny how whenever I see 'Hollywood Accounting', I read it as fraud and embezzlement. I wish the DoJ would start investigating that, instead of pulling down legal websites that the industry doesn't like and holding them hostage for a year before sheepishly returning them and hoping nobody notices.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2012 @ 2:40am

    Trying to destroy piracy will be harmful to the box office though.

    Out of sight out of mind.

    At some point the movie industry will get what it wants, for people to stop sharing that crap of theirs and start sharing their own productions, at that point they will be begging for people to pirate anything.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2012 @ 2:51am

    I can see the spin already: European films are booming thanks to the actions of Hadopi & various governments blocking the Pirate Bay

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2012 @ 3:14am

      Re:

      "We saw record profits in 2011 because The Pirate Bay was blocked in May 2012, our fight against piracy is working but we need to step it up and get tougher".

      Gotta love Hollywood logic.

       

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        PaulT (profile), May 16th, 2012 @ 3:22am

        Re: Re:

        Those would be the same people who say that they're losing money despite record-breaking gross revenue year on year, so anything's possible.

        Actually, if we're talking Hollywood then they might have a reason to complain as non-Hollywood movies are doing better:

        "estimated market share for European films in the EU climbed from 25.2% to 28.5% in 2011"

        Hollywood are losing market share. That has sod all to do with piracy, of course, but they will whine about it.

         

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    Spaceboy (profile), May 16th, 2012 @ 3:36am

    There are some very happy corn farmers right now. Or would that be just Monsanto?

     

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    Ninja (profile), May 16th, 2012 @ 5:17am

    Considering that the MAFIAA manages to say that they have broken all records in sales and that piracy is killing the industry in the same report every year I won't be surprised when they moan about piracy with this right in front of their noses.

     

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    gorehound (profile), May 16th, 2012 @ 5:22am

    And in the USA I where I live I Censor the MAFIAA from my wallet forever.They can kiss my Ass !!!
    Buy & Support INDIE !

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2012 @ 5:38am

    as far as these arse holes are concerned, there will never be enough, regardless of how much they make. and dont forget they have to bring in the Hollywood accounting as well. that will reduce the income by at least 75% and prevent all artists from being paid a dime until about 2025

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), May 16th, 2012 @ 6:56am

    I understand the concerns of the Movie Industry. If the sky is rising, it just means it'll hurt more when it falls on our heads! We must help them keep the sky at a reasonable non-lethal distance.

     

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    techinabox (profile), May 16th, 2012 @ 9:00am

    MPAA

    European films doing better than US films in Europe?

    Must be piracy's fault.

     

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