No one could have predicted the duration and the severity of the unprecedented social and economic challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. For two years, cinemas were required to remain closed for prolonged periods and, even when open, were often mandated to operate under safety measures that significantly restricted audience numbers.
During this time, we witnessed the resilience of the film sector, its capacity to adapt to challenging circumstances and to kick-start its recovery process thanks to national re-opening campaigns and the support of local, European and international productions.
Following a very challenging 2020, European cinema admissions in 2021 increased by an estimated 38 per cent, with over 590 million visits across the region. Box office reached an estimated €3.7 billion, an increase of 42 per cent on the previous year.
But the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the European cinema industry remains significant. Now is not the time for industry stakeholders and policy makers alike to ease those efforts aimed at ensuring the survival of local cinemas, whatever their size and location. 2022 will be a pivotal year for the industry. Leading industry analysts Gower Street Analytics forecast 55 per cent growth in global box office.
We are confident that the cinema industry will come back stronger from this crisis, and that as before we will continue to enjoy films together, on the Big Screen.