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National cinema days in 2023

From March to November 2023, France, Finland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, UK & Ireland, Germany, Slovakia, Belgium, Sweden, Poland, Greece and Norway celebrated their national cinema days. These played a crucial role in increasing cinema attendance, by creating excitement around the Big Screen experience.

Finland launched its first national Cinema Day on 22 April. Suuri leffapäivä (The Great Cinema Day) was a collaboration between the cinema association and the film distributors association, with tickets sold at half price in cinemas across the country.

Most territories saw an increase in attendance during this year’s editions. Italy launched its first  Cinema in Festa in 2022, organised by ANICA and ANEC with the support of the italian Ministry of Culture and the David di Donatello. The June 2023 edition recorded 1.2 million admissions, a 187% increase on the same weekend in 2022 and a 80% increase on the 2017-1029 average. The September event was even more successful with 1.56 million admissions.

In France, the 22nd edition of Printemps du Cinema (Spring of Cinema), organised by the Federation Nationale des Cinémas Français in March attracted 2.5 million cinemagoers in three days, an overall growth of 10% compared to 2022. Similarly, the 38th edition of La Fête du Cinéma which took place in June brought 3.1 million people to the cinema. Spain celebrated the 20th and 21st editions of Fiesta del Cine in May and October. The latter attracted 1.2 million admissions, a 22% increase on the May edition. In Poland, 250 cinemas took part in the 8th Swieto Kina, during which 550,000 tickets were sold. And the Greek Day Fest took place on 26 October, with a 31.2% increase compared to the first edition.

An increasing number of cinemas are now hosting these national initiatives. In Germany 771 cinemas took part in the 2nd Kinofest, representing 90% of the market. In Switzerland, 195 cinemas took part in the 7th edition of the Allianz Cinema Day in September, with a total of 531 screens, offering 150 different films with 2,400 screenings.

The UK and Ireland’s National Cinema Day had its 2nd edition this year, and welcomed 1.56 million visitors. Findings showed that 95% of attendees said that they would happily recommend the cinema-going experience to friends and family and three quarters of the respondents also said that they were now likely to return in the coming weeks.

During a UNIC conference organised in October, Comscore presented an overview on these initiatives across Europe, showing the multiple formats adopted in different countries, from a one-day event to a 5-day celebration, a yearly or a biannual event, organising special contests or involving talents. Surveys in the UK and Germany proved that the reduced ticket price isn’t the only reason for the audience to attend, but it’s also an opportunity to rediscover cinemas and get family and friends together.

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