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Latvia’s Ticket Prices Drop as Local Films Attract Viewers

Daira Abolina 2011-04-14

RIGA: Newly released date from the Latvian National Film Center (www.nfc.lv) show the effect that Latvia's economic problems of the past two years have had on cinema. Most alarmingly, ticket prices dropped by 20%, but cinema attendance was still low on a per capita basis. However, Latvian audiences proved eager to watch national films.

The average ticket price in 2010 was 4.02 EUR, a decline of nearly 1 EUR compared with 2009 when the ticket price average was 5 EUR. The total admission in 2010 was 2,106,227 - less than 1 visit per person, at a per capita admission rate of only 0.94. Advertising campaigns and discounts noticeably increased admissions.

The market share of domestic films was 6.9%, a relatively strong showing with only three full length feature films released in 2010. Gross Box Office was 8,468,566 EUR.

Breakdown of films by origin (premieres)

No of films

Admissions

GBO EUR

Domestic

19*

134 269

308 403

European

134

205 541

784 994

USA

104

1474921

5985848

Other

44

68 613

324 304

Total

301**

1883344

7403548

* incl. 3 features, 12 documentaries, 3 animation programmes, 1 short's programme

** incl. 137 films screened at film festivals

At 2010 26 cinemas and 63 screens were operating in Latvia. They included four multiplexes and one new multiplex, Multikino (www.multkino.lv) which opened in Riga in 2010.

Digital technology began to play a major part in the cinema industry. Digitally equipped multiplexes had became a serious competitor to art house cinemas without the new technology. The situation had a negative affect on distribution, as some festival films which attracted interest were not acquired because the distributors offered only DCP format and no 35 mm or video formats. On the other hand, viewers began to value 35 mm films. Educational programs with classical movies accompanied by discussions with cinema professionals or critics are some of the most attended events.

Three new feature films produced or co-produced by Latvia were released in 2010: Rudolf's Gold, (Rūdolfa mantojums, www.cinevilla.lv), Hong Kong Confidential (Amaya, www.krukfilms.lv), Return of Sergeant Lapins (Seržanta Lapiņa atgriešanās, www.nfc.lv ). Results show a big interest in newly released national movies, with Rudolf's Gold capturing the third spot in admissions.

2010. TOP 5 (admissions)

Title

Country

Admissions

GBO Eur

prints

Avatar

USA

142 004

775 424

8

Shrek Forever After

USA

108 828

418 157

12

Rūdolfs Gold

Latvia

96 402

247 735

Digital

Despicable me

USA

68 063

263 442

14

Inception

USA

64 036

253 584

5