China saw its annual box office gross rise 44% above the level recorded in 2008, totalling 6.2 billion yuan ($910 million).
Numbers issued by the China Film Group also include the fact that China produced 456 domestic films in 2009. Nonetheless, the two top grossing movies of 2009 were US studio pictures: 2012 ($67.5 million), and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($63 million). Chinese films shared 56% of the home market, and the best performing local title, The Founding of a Republic, grossed $61 million.France also witnessed an impressive year at the box office. Admissions totalled 200.85 million according to estimates by the Centre national de la cinématographie (CNC). This marks a rise of 5.7% over 2008, and the annual total is the second highest in forty years.
French films shared 37.1% of total admissions, which is lower than 2008’s market share (45.3%, largely down to the success of Welcome to the Sticks). US features shared 48.8% of total admissions.
Italy saw box office revenues grow in 2009 (by nearly 5%, to €623 million), but total admissions fell slightly, down 0.3% to 99 million, according to data released by Cinetel.
The Netherlands (whose main public film bodies have recently merged into a new film institute known ominously as eye) fared much better, with a 15.2% increase in ticket sales in 2009 (totalling 27.2 million). Dutch films recorded a market share of 17.4%, pretty much unchanged from 2008.
Poland scored a record high with 38 million admissions in 2009, up from 34 million in 2008 (+11.7%). According to Dorota Hartwic, writing for Cineuropa.org, the 29 Polish features on release garnered 8.7 million admissions, a market share of 22.9%.
Staying with Eastern Europe, Slovenia saw annual admissions rise 8% to over 2.6 million, according to Matevz Rudolf writing for Film New Europe. Over 140 films were distributed in the country, of which five features and two documentaries were made in Slovenia. These local pictures shared less than 2% of total admissions, and the most successful local title, Slovenian Girl, sold 18,000 tickets.
Provisional data from Nielsen EDI indicates a successful year at the Spanish box office. The territory saw 110 million admissions, with box office grosses totalling around €675 million, the ‘highest figure in the history of Spanish cinema’, according to Cineuropa.org’s Sergio Ríos Pérez. Local film market share is expected to be around 15%.
And finally, news broke last week that the US box office out-performed sales of feature films on DVD and Blu-ray for the first time since 2002.
Figures compiled by Adams Media Research show that US box office receipts stood at $9.87 billion in 2009, compared with DVD and Blu-ray feature film sales of $8.73 billion (sales of all works on DVD and Blu-ray, including TV shows, stood at $13 billion). Film DVD and Blu-ray revenues fell by 13%, while box office gross rose by 10%.
The table below summarises these numbers, including the UK’s provisional box office total published last week, which the UK Film Council will confirm on Tuesday along with UK films' share of the home market.
Table 1: Selected 2009 admissions, box office revenues and national market shares
'-' = data unavailable