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UK Cinemas market report

"The industry as a whole is looking in good stead to continue to grow as more and more innovation from technology and the independent sector keep movie goers keen to visit the cinema. Developments in 3D and 4D technology are likely to draw in crowds of children and hard-core movie fans, while the growth of event cinema and diverse food and drink offerings provided by independents means cinema is becoming a destination for consumers who are not typical cinema fans. All of these have a higher ticket price than standard cinemas, so this will help to keep the industry buoyant."

- Helen Fricker, Senior Leisure Analyst

This report will cover the following areas:

  • How can cinemas drive footfall?
  • How can cinemas increase consumers' additional spend once there?
  • How can cinemas use 3D to their advantage

This year there have been further developments that allow the consumer to be immersed in a movie, such as virtual reality headsets and 360o films, not to mention the growth in 4D. Cineworld and Odeon now offer 4D viewings in selected locations and it is likely more will be developed soon. Event cinema has also seen a huge rise in popularity, broadening the cinema audience, and is projected to grow to £1bn by 2019.

This Report focuses on commercial cinemas - sites whose primary day-to-day function is the commercial display of content. However, data on sites and screens includes any that accept advertising. Companies that own, lease, manage or operate facilities for the day-to-day commercial display of films will be referred to as "cinema operators" or "exhibitors".

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • 2017 to be a strong year for UK cinema
              • Figure 1: UK cinema market, forecast market value, 2012-22
            • Star Wars tops the list once again in 2016
              • Key players
                • Cineworld has the highest number of UK screens
                  • AMC completes acquisition of Odeon and UCI
                    • Cineworld expands 4DX offering across UK
                      • Odeon launches its first luxury cinema in Europe
                        • Curzon introduces its own subscription streaming service
                          • The consumer
                            • Two in three people visited the cinema in the last year
                              • Figure 2: Cinema visiting, September 2017
                            • Growth in advance booking as more people buy on their smartphone
                              • Figure 3: Ticket booking method, September 2017
                            • Action is the most viewed film genre
                              • Figure 4: Genre of film, September 2017
                            • Home cinema does pose a threat
                              • Figure 5: Cinema behaviour, September 2017
                            • High interest in watching 4DX showings
                              • Figure 6: Interest in 4DX screenings, September 2017
                            • What we think
                            • Issues and Insights

                              • Upcoming innovations to help diffuse streaming service threat
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • High interest in 4DX suggests it will be seen as more than just a gimmick
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                          • Admissions fall slightly in 2016 but box office still hits record high
                                            • 2017 set to be another great year for UK cinema
                                              • Star Wars tops the list once again in 2016
                                                • Site and screen numbers up further in 2016
                                                  • Major cinema chains form new global body
                                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                                    • 2017 set to be another great year for UK cinema
                                                        • Figure 7: UK cinema market, 2012-22
                                                        • Figure 8: UK cinema market, forecast market volume*, 2012-22
                                                        • Figure 9: UK cinema market, forecast market value, 2012-22
                                                    • Market Segmentation

                                                      • Admissions fall slightly in 2016 but box office still hits record high
                                                        • Figure 10: UK cinema market, by segment, 2011-16
                                                        • Figure 11: UK cinema admissions, 2000-16
                                                      • UK avoids US 2017 woes
                                                        • Figure 12: UK cinema monthly admissions, 2012-17
                                                        • Figure 13: UK cinema monthly admissions, 2010-16
                                                    • Market Drivers

                                                      • Star Wars tops the list once again in 2016
                                                        • Figure 14: Top 10 films, by gross box office in the UK, 2016
                                                        • Figure 15: Top films, by gross box office in the UK, 2011-17
                                                      • Site and screen numbers up further in 2016
                                                        • Figure 16: UK cinema sites and screen, 2011-16
                                                        • Figure 17: Trends in the number of digital and digital 3D cinema screens in the UK, 2011-15
                                                      • On-demand streaming services offer competition
                                                        • Figure 18: Services used to watch on-demand TV, July 2017
                                                      • Major cinema chains form new global body
                                                        • Movie studios reportedly blaming Rotten Tomatoes for movie performances
                                                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                          • Cineworld has the highest number of UK screens
                                                            • AMC completes acquisition of Odeon and UCI
                                                              • Cineworld expands 4DX offering across UK
                                                                • Odeon launches its first luxury cinema in Europe
                                                                  • Curzon introduces its own subscription streaming service
                                                                    • Advertising spend increases 5.8%
                                                                    • Market Share

                                                                      • Cineworld has the highest number of UK screens
                                                                        • Figure 19: Major UK cinema operators’ sites and screens, October 2017*
                                                                        • Figure 20: Major UK cinema operators, by number of screens, October 2016 and 2017
                                                                      • AMC completes acquisition of Odeon and UCI
                                                                        • Vue takes over Odeon Printworks
                                                                          • Cineworld acquires another Empire cinema
                                                                          • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                            • Cineworld expands 4DX offering across UK
                                                                              • Odeon launches its first luxury cinema in Europe
                                                                                • Curzon introduces its own subscription streaming service
                                                                                  • Dunkirk is widest 70mm film release in years
                                                                                    • Samsung makes move to replace cinema projectors
                                                                                      • Promise of VR cinema may be getting closer
                                                                                        • Cameron aiming to offer Avatar 2 in glasses-free 3D in 2020
                                                                                          • Max Factor partners with boutique UK cinemas
                                                                                          • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                            • Advertising spend increases 5.8%
                                                                                              • Figure 21: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure for UK film distributors and cinemas, 2012-16
                                                                                            • Warner Bros is largest advertiser among studios
                                                                                              • Figure 22: Share of recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by film distributors, 2016
                                                                                            • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                              • Two in three people visited a cinema in the last year
                                                                                                • Growth in advance booking as more people book on mobile devices
                                                                                                  • Action is the most viewed film genre
                                                                                                    • Home cinema does pose a threat
                                                                                                      • Two in three 16-34s are interested in VR films
                                                                                                        • High interest in watching 4DX showings
                                                                                                        • Cinema Visiting

                                                                                                          • Two in three people visited a cinema in the last year
                                                                                                            • Parents of young children are biggest cinema-goers
                                                                                                              • Figure 23: Cinema visiting, September 2017
                                                                                                            • Interest in 3D appears to be waning
                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Type of film seen, September 2017
                                                                                                            • Ticket Booking Method

                                                                                                              • Growth in advance booking
                                                                                                                • More people buying tickets on smartphones and tablets
                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Ticket booking method, September 2017
                                                                                                                • Advance bookings are usually made the day before
                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Booking in advance, September 2017
                                                                                                              • Genre of Film

                                                                                                                • Action is the most viewed film genre
                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Genre of film, September 2017
                                                                                                                • Sequels are popular with parents of young children
                                                                                                                • Cinema Behaviour

                                                                                                                  • Home cinema does pose a threat
                                                                                                                    • Keeping ahead of home devices
                                                                                                                      • Curzon looks to utilise popularity of subscription streaming
                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Cinema behaviour, September 2017
                                                                                                                      • Many want to go to the cinema regardless of the film they will see
                                                                                                                        • Two in three 16-34s are interested in VR films
                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Interest in watching virtual reality films, by age, September 2017
                                                                                                                      • Interest in 4DX

                                                                                                                        • High interest in watching 4DX showings
                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Interest in 4DX screenings, September 2017
                                                                                                                          • People are willing to pay more for 4DX
                                                                                                                            • 4DX doesn’t need to be limited to action films
                                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Attitudes towards 4DX screenings, September 2017
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                • Abbreviation
                                                                                                                                  • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: UK cinema market, volume* forecast, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: UK cinema market, value forecast, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                    • Forecast methodology