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UK Cinemas market report

Covered in this report

2019 looks set to be another buoyant year in terms of admissions to UK cinemas and revenue generated. The ongoing success of the cinema is in part driven by a strong programme of content, which led to a record-breaking summer period for cinemas in 2019.

Young men are the most likely to go to the cinema and to take advantage of enhanced showings, such as 3D and 4D. They are also the demographic that feels most comfortable going to the cinema alone.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Joe Birch, a leading analyst in the Technology sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The UK cinema industry looks set to enjoy another bumper year on the back of record-breaking returns in the summer months for admissions at the box office. Wider revenues from retail spend per head look set to grow, as exhibitors upgrade their portfolio of sites to enhance retail offerings and make the cinema a destination experience. Delivering key content will continue to drive attendance, though brands can do more to energise a more diverse range of demographics to visit more frequently Joe Birch
Consumer Technology Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • 2019 expected to be another bumper year for the UK cinema industry
              • Figure 1: UK cinema market volume (admissions) forecast, 2014-24
            • Market value grows due to increase in retail spend per head
              • Figure 2: UK cinema market value forecast, 2014-24
            • UK cinemas saw their highest summer box office returns ever in 2019
              • Disney bosses the box office
                • Disney+ to launch in the UK in 2020
                  • ScreenX expands its footprint in UK theatres
                    • Companies and brands
                      • Cineworld remains dominant UK chain
                        • Figure 3: Cinema operators in the UK, by number of sites and screens, Q3 2019
                      • Odeon upgrades cinemas with more ‘luxe’ 4D and IMAX formats
                        • Everyman becomes stakeholder on British high streets
                          • The consumer
                            • Cineworld maintains its position as top cinema chain
                              • Figure 4: Cinema visiting, October 2018 and September 2019
                            • Young males are the most avid cinema-goers
                              • Figure 5: Regularity of cinema visits for cinema-goers, by age and gender, September 2019
                            • Most people are still watching 2D screenings
                              • Figure 6: Type of screenings seen in last 12 months, September 2019
                            • Expense is the main reason people don’t go to the cinema
                              • Figure 7: Reasons for not visiting the cinema in the last 12 months, September 2019
                            • Content still key factor for bringing in audiences
                              • Figure 8: Reasons for visiting the cinema in the last 12 months, September 2019
                            • Most cinema-goers think it is a good social activity
                              • Figure 9: Attitudes towards the cinema experience, September 2019
                            • Half would go to the cinema if tickets were cheaper
                              • Figure 10: Motivations to visit the cinema, September 2019
                            • What we think
                            • Issues and Insights

                              • Promoting solo visits to the cinema can cater to an individual’s desire for escapism
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • Chain cinemas should further embrace their ‘blockbuster’ role
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                          • Another strong year at the box office expected in 2019
                                            • Market value grows due to increased retail spend per head
                                              • Streaming services eye content as key battleground to compete with cinemas
                                                • Superhero and animated franchises continue to capture imagination
                                                  • Advertising in cinemas hits new high as blockbuster boom increases spend in cinemas
                                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                                    • 2019 expected to be another bumper year for the UK cinema industry
                                                      • Figure 11: UK cinema market volume (admissions) forecast, 2014-24
                                                      • Figure 12: Cinema market volume (admissions) forecast, 2014-24
                                                    • Market value grows due to increase in retail spend per head
                                                      • Figure 13: UK cinema market value forecast, 2014-24
                                                      • Figure 14: UK cinema market value forecast, 2014-24
                                                    • Forecast methodology
                                                    • Market Segmentation

                                                      • Average retail spend per head increases on the back of enhanced retail offerings
                                                        • Figure 15: UK cinema market, by segment, 2014-19
                                                      • Record-breaking summer months for admissions pave the way for another successful year at the box office
                                                        • Figure 16: UK cinema admissions, by month, 2015-19
                                                      • Cinema advertising can be a differentiator for brands
                                                      • Market Drivers

                                                        • Disney bosses the box office
                                                          • Figure 17: Top 20 films released in the UK and Republic of Ireland, January-September 2019
                                                        • Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox looks to further its dominance
                                                          • Superhero and animated franchises continue to capture imagination
                                                            • In the medium term streaming can enhance the cinema market
                                                              • Variable pricing structures result in blockbuster premium ticket price hikes
                                                                • Streaming services eye content as key battleground to compete with cinemas
                                                                  • Netflix in standoff with defenders of the cinema space
                                                                    • Disney could prioritise streaming over cinema
                                                                      • Apple TV+ to release content in theatres
                                                                      • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                        • Increase in number of screens in UK
                                                                          • Cineworld focuses on premiumisation and technology to drive growth
                                                                            • Everyman eyes key stakeholder role on high streets
                                                                              • Vue aims to maximise revenue with enhanced retail offering
                                                                                • Odeon upgrades cinemas with more ‘luxe’ 4D and IMAX formats
                                                                                • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                  • New technology pushes the boundaries of the cinematic medium
                                                                                    • Odeon Cinemas to trial phoneless cinema screenings
                                                                                      • Event cinema continues to be a differentiator
                                                                                        • Innovations in projection and audio technology enhance viewing experience
                                                                                          • Google Assistant can help UK users find and book cinema tickets using only voice commands
                                                                                            • CJ 4DPLEX further blends the theme park and cinema
                                                                                              • Selfridges opens first permanent cinema in a department store
                                                                                              • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                • Advertising spend decreases through 2018 despite record-breaking year
                                                                                                  • Figure 18: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure for UK film distributors and cinemas, 2014-19
                                                                                                  • Figure 19: Share of recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by film distributors, Jan-Sep 2018 and Jan-Sep 2019
                                                                                                  • Figure 20: Share of recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by film distributors, Jan-Sep 2018 and Jan-Sep 2019
                                                                                                • Advertising in cinemas hits new high as blockbuster boom increases spend in cinemas
                                                                                                  • Figure 21: Top advertisers in UK cinema to 17 December, 2019
                                                                                                • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                • Market Share

                                                                                                  • Increase in number of screens from major operators
                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Major cinema operators’ sites and screens, October 2018 and October 2019
                                                                                                  • Refurbishment re-energising the cinema experience
                                                                                                    • Focus on retail can drive spend per head in theatres
                                                                                                      • Everyman eyes greater presence on high streets
                                                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                        • Cineworld maintains its position as top cinema chain
                                                                                                          • Young males are the most avid cinema-goers
                                                                                                            • Standard 2D showings are still most popular type of screening
                                                                                                              • Price is the main reason people are not going to the cinema
                                                                                                                • Half would go to the cinema if tickets were cheaper
                                                                                                                  • The boutique experience can be a hit with young parents
                                                                                                                  • Cinema Visiting

                                                                                                                    • Cineworld maintains its position as top cinema chain
                                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Cinema visiting, October 2018 and September 2019
                                                                                                                    • Young males are the most avid cinema-goers
                                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Regularity of cinema visits for cinema-goers, by age and gender, September 2019
                                                                                                                    • Gender differences play out across all age groups
                                                                                                                      • Seniors audiences can be encouraged to take part in social activities
                                                                                                                        • Family-friendly programme of content appeals
                                                                                                                        • Screening Type

                                                                                                                          • Standard 2D showings still the dominant type of screening
                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Type of screenings seen in last 12 months, September 2019
                                                                                                                          • Enhanced screening options appeal as a special occasion
                                                                                                                          • Barriers to Visiting the Cinema

                                                                                                                            • Expense is the main reason people don’t go to the cinema
                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Reasons for not visiting the cinema in the last 12 months, September 2019
                                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Repertoire of reasons for not visiting the cinema in the last 12 months, by reasons for not visiting, September 2019
                                                                                                                            • Many still consider the cinema to be expensive despite the number of available deals
                                                                                                                              • One in four prefer to watch films in other ways
                                                                                                                                • Streaming services now compete in terms of content
                                                                                                                                  • Cinemas could look to forge creative partnerships with streaming services
                                                                                                                                    • Shared viewing experiences aren’t for everyone
                                                                                                                                      • See it or miss out
                                                                                                                                      • Attitudes towards Visiting the Cinema

                                                                                                                                        • Content is key in driving visits
                                                                                                                                          • Cinemas can encourage young males to ‘hang solo’
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Reasons for visiting the cinema in the last 12 months, September 2019
                                                                                                                                          • Higher-income households can help drive retail spend
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Reasons for visiting the cinema in the last 12 months, by age and gender, September 2019
                                                                                                                                          • Immersive cinema experiences continue to capture consumers’ imagination
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Attitudes towards cinema experience, September 2019
                                                                                                                                          • Cinema can be date night destination for young parents
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Attitudes towards cinemas – CHAID – Tree output, September, 2019
                                                                                                                                        • Motivations to Visit a Cinema in the Future

                                                                                                                                          • Price still the key driver for consumers
                                                                                                                                            • Women can be engaged further through emphasis on social occasion
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 32: Motivations to visit the cinema, September 2019
                                                                                                                                            • The heightened sensory experience can also appeal to families
                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                  • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                    • CHAID analysis methodology
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Attitudes towards cinemas – CHAID – Table output, September 2019
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                    • Market Forecast
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: UK cinemas value forecast, 2019-24
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: UK cinemas volume (admissions) forecast, 2019-24
                                                                                                                                                    • Forecast methodology

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