The idea of setting up a database of ticket sales for films distributed in Europe was originally proposed by the Advisory Committee of the European Audiovisual Observatory. The Observatory carried out a feasibility study in 1997, which concluded that such a database was necessary to meet various needs within the industry. It also suggested that, if adequate resources were made available, it was feasible to set up such a database and that the European Audiovisual Observatory was unanimously recognised as the ideal body to carry out this task.
The Observatory has regularly collected data on admissions to films distributed in Europe since 1996. Software was developed in summer 2000. The LUMIERE database was launched on 13 November 2000 on the occasion of the European Cinema Forum held in Strasbourg, since when it has been accessible on-line.
REASONS FOR DETAILED OBSERVATION OF ADMISSIONS TO FILMS DISTRIBUTED IN EUROPE
A database of admissions to films distributed in Europe has many different uses.
1. Verification of attendance and income
A variety of organisations would like precise figures from which to measure a film's commercial success:
The LUMIERE database meets this need to a certain degree by systematically compiling data available in the various European Audiovisual Observatory member states. However, the Observatory is unable to verify the accuracy of the data provided by national sources. The figures contained in the database should therefore be considered indicative.
2. Statistical analysis of admissions to and income from films for market research purposes
A compilation of data indicating how successful a film has been can prove useful in various types of market analysis:
Various groups of people may carry out this type of analysis:
It is therefore in the "general interest" to create an accessible, transparent European database. The LUMIERE database contains various calculation functions designed to facilitate market analysis (analysis of market share, comparison between supply and demand, degree of concentration of film attendance, exportation rates, film attendance charts). For various methodological and technical reasons, these tools are not available on-line. The Observatory can provide tailor-made reports (contact: André Lange).
3. Analysis of ticket sales for the purposes of estimating the commercial value of directors, actors, films or film librariesInformation on a film's commercial success in cinemas can be used to assess its commercial value in other markets:
Generally speaking, cumulative information on films is taken into account in order to estimate the value of directors and actors.
We hope that the LUMIERE database will be useful for this type of analysis, since it provides detailed information on the success of films in the various European markets.