Cinema audiences continue to fall .jpg

Cinema audiences continue to fall

FIGURES FOR the first quarter of this year show that 700,000 fewer people visited the cinema in Portugal when compared to the same period last year, representing a fall in box office receipts of 2.8 million euros.

The data, revealed by the Institute of Audiovisual and Multimedia Cinema, shows a sharp decline in cinema-going compared to the same period the previous year. On average, 875 fewer people visited the cinema in Portugal every day when compared to the same months last year – a period when cinema attendance was already declining. Last year ended with a balance of almost 1.4 million fewer tickets sold in Portugal than in 2004 (a decline of 8.1 per cent), representing a year on year fall in box office takings of 4.8 million euros.

The cinema ‘crisis’ is not exclusive to Portugal – it is matched by a general decline in movie attendance worldwide. Figures reveal that, throughout the EU, last year had the lowest ticket sales since the beginning of the decade. Last year, 115 million fewer people visited the cinema throughout the EU than in 2004.

Breaking down the figures, that means a decline from 1.7 billion people to 892 million people. This signifies an annual decline throughout the EU of 11.4 per cent. Portugal’s decline was, by comparison, less pronounced than in the rest of the EU. Cinema attendance in Germany fell by the most (18.8 per cent), Spain (12.5 per cent) and France (10.1 per cent). Italy and the UK were more resistant to the decline in cinema attendance, with falls of just 7.5 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively. Cinema attendance in Brazil recorded the biggest decline worldwide (22 per cent). Other countries also experienced a sharp decline in cinema attendance: Australia (10 per cent), Japan (six per cent) and the US (nine per cent).

Published on the eve of the Cannes Festival, the findings reveal that European films accounted for 24.6 per cent of all box office receipts. American productions generated the biggest box office successes: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (41 million cinemagoers), Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith (33 million cinemagoers), Madagascar (29 million), War of the Worlds (24 million) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (20 million visitors).