Portugal’s movie theatres stage comeback

A surprising boom of movie-goers has seen Portugal’s movie theatre industry make an unexpected comeback in the first half of 2015.

In total, movie theatres registered a total of 6.6 million cinema-goers and €33.9 million of revenue between January and June 2015. Compared to the same period in 2014, this means that 1.1 million more people went to the cinema, while revenue was up by €5.4 million.

ICA (cinema and audiovisual institute) points out that the increase was largely fuelled by the crowd-pulling films ‘Fast and Furious 7’ and ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, which together were seen by around 1.3 million people and generated over €7 million of revenue.

Portugal’s first cinema festival ‘Festa do Cinema’ in May – which for three days had tickets selling for €2.50 – also contributed to this “resurrection”.

Around 200,000 people went to the movies during the festival, which saw the number of cinema-goers in May rise by 7.3% compared to 2014.

As Lusa news agency points out, “these are the first positive statistics for the movie theatre industry in the last few years”.

It remains to be seen whether this optimistic trend will continue.

Starting in October, national movie theatres will have to compete with Netflix, the American online streaming service which will be launching in Portugal as part of its “global expansion plans”. Portugal’s most popular streaming website wareztuga.tv announced it closed down for good this month.