Domestic films took up an estimated 3.3% share of the total film admissions in Romania in 2016, according to the European Audiovisual Observatory, based on data from the Romanian Film Center - CNC (Centrul National al Cinematografiei CNC). Although an increase from 1.9% in 2015, the percentage is one of the lowest in the EU, and similar to the 3.2% in Bulgaria and 3.5% in Hungary, and slightly higher than the 2.3% recorded in Portugal in 2016.
At an EU level, France was the market with the highest market share of domestic films (35.3%) closely followed by the UK (34.9%), the Czech Republic (29.5%), Finland (28.9%), and Italy (28.7%), according to the same source. Outside of the European Union, Turkey stood in a leading position, with Turkish films taking up 53.4% of admissions in 2016.
Romanian films regularly make headlines for being nominated for or winning various international awards, but their distribution became an issue after 1990, when many state-owned cinemas closed down, leaving local productions without a network to reach audiences in the country. Several other Bucharest cinemas, which used to host the festivals where these films were alternatively screened, closed in 2015 after a law banning activity of several outlets in high seismic risk buildings entered into force.
The Romanian comedy Selfie 69 directed by Cristina Iacob held the Romanian box office record in 2016. The film was viewed by almost 87,000 spectators in local cinemas between September 16 and October 2. The ticket sales totaled close to RON 1.5 million (EUR 330,000), which made it the best local box-office debut by a Romanian film in the last 26 years, according to the producers. CNC data show that at the end of the third quarter of 2016 #Selfie69 had 75,244 viewers.
Estimates of the European Audiovisual Observatory show that overall total admissions in the European Union continued to grow, up by 1.6% to 994 million tickets sold in 2016. This is 16 million more than in 2015 and the highest level registered in the EU since 2004. Including non-EU territories in Europe, 2016 saw the highest admission levels of the past decades with estimated record admissions of over 1.27 billion tickets, the Observatory said.
The growth in EU cinema attendance was driven by a strong year-on-year performance in France (+7.4 million, +3.6%), Poland (+7.4 million, +16.6%), Spain (+7.2 million, +7.5%) and Italy (+5.8 million, +5.4%). Record levels were also reported by the Czech Republic (+2.7 million, +20.6%) and the Slovak Republic (+1.1 million, +23.4%), the highest levels in recent history. Significant declines in admissions were registered only in two EU markets. In Germany, cinema attendance dropped by 18.1 million (-13.0%), partly due to a drop in admissions to local films, while the UK registered a 2.1% decline losing 3.7 million ticket sales compared to 2015.
In Romania, the total number of movie tickets sold in 2016 was estimated at 12 million, up by 800,000, or 7.5%, compared to 2015.
The performance of US studio titles and strong results for Italian, French, Polish and Czech films in their home markets sustained the admission growth, according to the Observatory. Top ranking films in the EU were animation films such as "The Secret Life of Pets", "Finding Dory", "The Jungle Book" and "Zootopia" as well as "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them", "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story", "Star Wars VII", "Deadpool" and "Captain America: Civil War".
The European Audiovisual Observatory will publish a complete overview of 2016 European cinema market trends in early May 2017.
Source: Romania Insider