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2011 was a year of stabilisation at the European box office as the marked upward trend of GBO 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 to EUR 6.4 billion, still the highest level on record. Cinema attendance remained stable with an estimated 962 million tickets sold.
Though the number of 3D releases as well as 3D screens increased notably in 2011, the format seemed to be maturing in some markets like the UK, where, despite an increasing number of 3D releases - from 28 in 2010 to 47 in 2011 - 3D share dropped from 24% to 20% of total GBO. As a result 3D failed to further swell average ticket prices as had been the case in 2009 and 2010, with the EU-wide average ticket price increasing by only 0.5% to EUR 6.6.
On the level of individual European markets, 2011 cinema-going trends varied significantly, with admissions decreasing in 11 and increasing in 15 EU markets for which data were available, while GBO increased in 14 and decreased in 12 markets. Theatrical markets which performed particularly well were France (GBO record up 4.7%), the UK (+5.2%) and Germany (+4.1%) while Spain and Italy experienced a significant decline in both admissions as well as GBO.
More detailed information on European as well as international theatrical markets can be found inFOCUS 2012 World Film Market Trends prepared by the European Audiovisual Observatory for the Cannes Film Market.