23 juin 2009

Attendance 2008 - World Cinema Stats (3)

Yearly attendance in the world, compared to domestic population (2008) top nations
Horizontally, the red dots to the right are most populous, to the left, less populous. So dots aligned vertically have national population of similar sizes.
Vertically, the red dots to the top are largest yearly movie-going demographics, to the bottom are less movie-going. So dots aligned horizontally have movie-going demographics with similar yearly frequency.
The blue line is the worldwide median, the slope corresponding to the average ratio between movie-going demographic and total population in a given country (this average is largely influenced by the weight of India and China, so it's roughly the middle ground between these 2 giants). The blue area is the side of this limit when the movie-going public is less than world average. The lighter area is the side of the heavier movie-going public are.
We can see India and USA have a demographic that is dramatically attracted to movies. While in China (with a comparable size with India) the theatrical experience has much less penetrated the total population. First I should note this data might not be exact (I suspect this attendance to correspond to only the modern cinemas, and doesn't account for all public screenings organised in rural China). Though, the Chinese are definitely not as enthused by movies as Indians are, and the population as a whole is most certainly below the average line in any case. This might be due to the lack of infrastructures (less movies produced, not enough screens, bad exhibition circuit/marketing). But the situation is obviously different in major cities, or in Hong Kong.

Attendance in the world
(2008) zoom in on smaller nations
Same as graph above, in a whole different league, as we could see in the last post. It's also the same blue line (the slope only appear to differs because of the change of axis scale to fit the picture, but it's the same).
So we can see Indonesia and Brazil are the less movie-going demographics, but also Ukraine, Iran, Egypt, The Philippines. Fewer people go to the movies, and less often. It's surprising to see Japan on this side, since it is one of the largest producer of films but could be explained by the smaller park of screens available to the population (which we'll see in a next post).
On the other side, the most active cinephile communities are France, South Korea, UK, Canada, Australia, Spain...

Yearly attendance per capita
(in 2008, 2007 or earlier when data not available)

To corroborate the observation in the previous graphs, here is the ranking of countries by their yearly admissions per capita ratio. So this time we only look at the absolute proportion of movie going population within a country, regardless for the size of this country or the volume of admissions sold. And India, USA and the EU are no longer at the top. We can note that smaller countries, even tiny ones, have a population much more into cinema than the big nations usually associated with active cinephilia. Iceland, Ireland, Singapore, New Zealand and Georgia have a remarkable ratio : over 4 admissions bought in a year for every single inhabitant (on average). Only the USA reaches this level, which is definitely the most movie-fan nation in the world, as a whole. France and South Korea are only around 3. And India is only at 2.61, which is remarkable however for a population of over 1 billion inhabitants! India could use a larger circuit of screens (as we'll see in the next post) to reach an even larger demographic. And China, as suspected, is clearly not doing enough to spread cinema throughout the land.


Source :

19 juin 2009

Admissions - World Cinema Stats (2)

Admissions (1985-2008) 10 major nations with available data (+ EU as indicator)

Admissions (2002-2008) 10 Largest populations on Earth (more or less) ranked by movie-going volume (in brackets the percentage of World population in this nation). These 10 nations combined represent 63 % of total world population in 2008.

Admissions (2004-2008)
27 Smaller Nations (below 200,000,000 tickets sold per year)

World Admissions Shares in 2002


15 juin 2009

Production - World Cinema Stats (1)

Last year I did an extensive analysis of the 2007 world market statistics I had in hand for 2007 and the couple previous years. There was lots of numbers in arcane lists... Today, welcome the graphic technology (thanks to Google spreadsheets)! Cahiers publishes an atlas in a special issue, every year since 2004, but since they sold out to Phaidon, this year the atlas has been split in 2 halves and folded inside 2 consecutive issues (May, June 2009) and not bilingual this year unfortunately. Anyway their survey is not consistent, so I have to fill the blanks with other sources. And they don't compile the data to compare the relative positions with other nations, or with other contextual statistics. The profiles they give for individual countries just give numbers that don't make sense if we don't know what range of numbers to expect for such or such country.

Domestic Films Produced (1995-2008)
9 Largest Industries [EDIT graph: India data completed]

Note: successive enlargements of the European Union :
  •  EU 15 (since 1995) : Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, UK (EU12 + Austria + Finland + Sweden)
  • EU25 (since 2004) : Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK (EU15 + Malta, Cyprus, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary)
  • EU27 (since 2007): Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania,  Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK (EU25 + Bulgaria + Romania)
These are the cinema industries that produce the largest numbers of theatrical movies in the world. We can easily see the disparity between them, and we need to compare them to the size of their population, movie going audience/admissions sold, GDP, and more generally to the film industry/infrastructure/screens available to distribute so much films.
The (arbitrary) psychological threshold here is 365, corresponding to the ability of an industry to put forth 1 new film per day of the year, meaning 7 new local films in each weekly batch of the year! But of course, for these mega-industries the market is split in many non-competitive sub-markets, either in different languages (like India, Europe and China), or in various channels of distributions (multiplexes in main cities, art houses circuit, TV, direct-to-video, VOD, foreign market, black market...). In the USA for instance, they don't distribute on the commercial circuit (for mainstream audience) as many movies as they make, some of them are shelved/postponed or reserved for a limited market.
The European Union data is only indicative (to compare the USA to a market similar in size), since it compiles the numbers from other countries on this graph. And its upward curve is more due to the expansion of the members of the union (15 member-states in 1995, 25 in 2004 and 27 since 2007), than to the progression of individual industries (which are relatively stable as seen at the bottom of the graph).
Note the so called Hollywood "slump" initiated in 2005 (not that dramatic in relation to this span of more than 1 decade), which was aggravated by the Writers' strike of 2008. But they still make more movies than they can digest! [EDIT: actually in 2008, the number of films produced goes below the number of films distributed for the first time in at least a decade]
Now if we compare to India, their boom is properly scary (2 ½ more movies than Hollywood in 2008!). Especially since China should be ranked number 1 (though it's hard to find reliable extensive numbers for the Chinese market). With an average of 25 new movies per week, it's understandable why there is no room for foreign movies in India. But if we look in details, not every single Bollywood film made should be made. they just make movies in a row, on a mindless assembly line, because the Bollywood economy allows it, and that the extremely movie-going audience is supporting them. But this extravagant raise should stop after the exhibitors strike in Bollywood at the beginning of 2009. Until now, Bollywood doesn't seem to hurt as much as Hollywood (!) from the piracy competition and the online offers.
Japan is still the leader of the non-mega-sized countries in the world, and seems to have reached a plateau around 400 films/year since 2006.
The European countries at the bottom show a relatively stable evolution, except for Germany that enjoys a recent notable surge.

Domestic Films Produced (2004-2008) Selected Smaller Industries
I've split these countries in 2 separate graphs for readability of the bottom part, too dense in the top graph. Here the (arbitrary) psychological threshold is 52, corresponding to the ability of an industry to put forth 1 new domestic film every week of the year, on average. Below this threshold, it is impossible to propose to the audience at least 1 local movie amongst the weekly batch of titles distributed every week, in case the local culture matters.
It's difficult to find comprehensive statistics for lesser known countries. This selection only represent the ones which had data from 2004 to 2008, all countries below France. Though notable missing countries with a large production (ranging 90-40) : Bangladesh, Canada, The Philippines, Switzerland, Sweden, Egypt, Austria, Netherlands, Taiwan, Belgium.
The UK seems to be the only European country closely tied to the Hollywood "slump". The others are rather on the raise, especially Germany and Italy which show a remarkable boom.
The Cannes Palme d'Or for Romania in 2007 didn't affect the local artists and producers yet... Though 3 more Romanian films were present in Cannes this year.
The numbers for Iran are quite inconsistent. I wonder if it reflects the instability of the industry (or of the censorship board) or if the survey is just random and unreliable...
We'll look at these countries individually, when compared to their respective population size and ticket sales, in my next posts.

Why looking at the health of foreign markets matter to cinephiles? Because if the movie industry depends on local conjunctures, the production of new films in every corners of the world are important to global film culture as a whole. It's only a competition from the producers' perspective! But viewers don't look at it as a territorial battle where we should should only support our local production. Real cinephiles love foreign movies as much because cinema is a universal language, the language of art, the language of emotions. Local stars, local plot lines, local issues, local language are only marginally significant when what we love is the expression of cinema. So it is meaningful to learn about how other countries fare and how they cope with the recession and survive, the countries that host our favourite auteurs.



01 juin 2009

CNN hologram in English

"You've never seen anything like this on television" CNN's election night hologram
By HarryTuttle (April 2009) at Rouge (issue 13) May 2009
translated from the French version (Nov 2008)
Forgery, misinterpretation and hidden flaws: televisual media stumble in the era of hyper-information. Let us examine the nature of images used on television, their vulgarisation in public discourse and their onscreen perversion.
It's more about TV (not my preferred domain I must confess) than cinema unfortunately... but now it's out there. I touch on a couple of issues I'm interested in, like the perception of images and the misappropriation of visual constructs, which would require further investigations around the new types of daily life images, on TV and online.
My first full length article published in English language, in no less than the best online journal for Cinema studies : Rouge! Adrian Martin was kind enough to give it a chance and asked me to publish it. Many thanks. That's quite an achievement for a no-name French dude like me. I'm very proud. I could retire happy and satisfied.