The European Commission issued a statement urging European cinemas to make the move to digital technologies and to show more European films.
At the same time the EC is funding a program to help finance the upgrade to digital projectors, which can cost p to 75,000 euros and often remain prohibitively cvostly for smaller cinemas. The move is due to the industry continuing to be dominated by American films despite more films being produced within the EU.
“The digital revolution has transformed the way the film industry produces, distributes and screens films. Digital technology can reduce distribution costs and potentially increase the number and diversity of European films being screened worldwide,” said EC spokesperson Androulla Vassiliou.
“I hope we will soon see the benefits of digital technology in all European cinemas, including the independent and art-house screens that characterize Europe's unique cinema network.”
The European Commission has in the last 3 years earmarked 25 million euros in backing through the MEDIA Programme for digital cinema initiatives and other projects.
Data from the European Audiovisual Observatory showed that the number of cinema admissions increased to 981 million euros in 2009, up by more than 6 per cent year-on-year. European box office receipts rose by 12 per cent year-on-year to 6.3 billion euros.
Yet the European industry's market share represented 27 per cent of total European box office receipts, the figures reveal.