An interesting difference between perceptions of cinema in Europe and US is that the success of a film or cinema year is that admissions are counted by number of admissions in most European countries but in the US bucks at the box office is the only measure. Hence, 2007 was recently hailed as a growth year in the US, even though admissions plateaued after years of stagnation or static. But fewer bums on the seats is bad business, even if ticket price inflation masks that fact.
Belgian/European multiplex major Kinepolis has just posted their 2007 numbers, which are down by 3.4 per cent in terms of admissions. Kinepolis “said the drop was ‘due mainly to the comparison with the very strong results recorded in 2006, the warm spring and the mediocre range of international films’.” There’s no mentioning of digital cinema plans with Technicolor stalling, though in fairness cinema goers come to see films, not projectors.
I’ve yet to meet an exhibitor who was not upbeat about the prospects of the films in the coming year and Kinepolis is no exception. “‘The range of films on offer over the next few months looks very promising,’ said the group, citing ‘Asterix and Obelix’, the 3D film ‘Fly Me to the Moon’, the next Bond film and Indiana Jones 4.”