Denmark and Norway lead rise in admissions

LONDON – Cinema admissions in Scandinavia and the Baltic States are set to rise by 15% by 2011 according to UK-based cinema analysts Dodona Research.

The larger markets of Denmark and Norway are expected to lead the growth, thanks in part to their robust domestic film industries. Last year, eight of the top 20 pics in Denmark were homegrown efforts.

The Dodona report, released August 6, studies the markets in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden. Current admissions rates vary considerably in these territories. Icelanders go to the movies over five times a year – one of the highest rates of attendance worldwide. But attendance is low in the depressed markets of Finland and Sweden.

Growth in the Baltic States is driven by the opening of more multiplex theaters since 2000.

Lithuania has been the last Baltic territory to benefit from the building spree. Having seen admissions decline since 2001, 2006 recorded a remarkable turnaround, with admissions rising 98%.

“Investment in a series of multiplexes over the last five years, along with lower ticket prices and an increasingly wealthy population has finally paid off,” says report author Alisdair Ritchie.

Ticket prices in the seven other countries have risen since 2000 and are relatively high compared to other European markets, averaging around Euros 8.50 ($11.74). This has kept box office heading north. In 2006, box office in the eight countries reached $638 million, a 24% increase since 2001.

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