Cinema attendance leaps in Slovakia and Bulgaria

By FNE Staff

    Slovakia, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Russia were the top performing European countries for cinema attendance growth in 2008.

    According to a European Audiovisual Observatory report, attendance across the European Union showed only a slight increase of 0.3% in 2008, to a total of 920 million tickets.

    Russia saw the largest amount of increased ticket sales, 124 million, up 16% from 107 million in 2008. Turkey, however posted a jump of almost 27%, with 38.5 million admissions.

    Across Central Europe, Slovakia stood out with an 18.2% gain, to 3.3 million admissions, but still down compared to a strong 2006, with 3.4 million admissions.

    Bulgarians were back up to 2.8 million admissions, a 12.1% increase, but below a five year high of 3.1 million admissions in 2004.

    Poland's 3.4% rise brought a five-year high of almost 34 million admissions. Czechs and Estonians saw minimal increases, at 12.9 million (also a five-year high) and 1.6 million admissions respectively.

    Latvian attendance dropped slightly, down 2.7% to 2.4 million. So did Lithuanian attendance, down 1.4% to 3.3 million, but still an almost three-fold gain over a its low of 1.2 million in 2005. Hungarians had the largest decrease, with 10.2 million admissions, an 8.2% drop, continuing a five-year trend.