Ticket price rise pumps Poland B.O.

Revs rise despite drop in attendance

LONDON — Cinema admissions in Central and Eastern Europe have been cut in half over the last five years, but ticket prices more than doubled, according to a new report.

As a result, box office revenues have risen 14.3% since 1995, reaching $158 million last year across the 10 main markets in the area, even as admissions shrank from 228 million to 114 million. The most valuable of the territories are Poland ($55.2 million), Hungary ($28.2 million) and Russia ($27.7 million).

Average ticket prices went up from 61¢ to $1.39, narrowing the base of cinemagoers across much of the region to “an affluent metropolitan elite,” as noted in the report by Dodona Research.

In Poland and Hungary, investment in multiplexes has increased the number of screens, but all other territories saw a decline, the total dropping from 5,529 to 5,029.

Nonetheless, Dodona’s forecasts for the next five years are optimistic, with a predicted 80% rise in box office revenues by 2005, after development and renovation of screens in the smaller countries start to show results.

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