Report: More European than US films make it to VoD

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A European Audiovisual Observatory report looks at how many films released in European cinemas since 1996 made it to VoD.

The report illustrates the complex relationships between the release of films in cinemas and on VoD. Author Gilles Fontaine, Head of the Observatory’s Department for Market Information, underlines that this relationship is one of “cooperation rather than competition: Cinema boosts VoD presence, while VoD opens up new markets to less successful films.”

Overall, a majority (56 per cent) of European films released in cinemas between 1996 and 2020 were available on VoD in May 2020. Compared to US films, that’s a smaller share. But as there are many more European films than US films on release in cinemas, in absolute values, the number of European films which made it from cinemas to VoD is 2.6 times higher than the number of US films.


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The interplay between cinema and VoD release seems to be twofold:

  • on the one hand a film released in cinemas (i.e. promoted by a cinema release) in a given country is more likely to be present in VoD in the same country;
  • on the other hand, films with a limited number of cinema admissions were often theatrically released in a very limited number of territories. The VoD release (when they get one) brings additional territories to the film.

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