Home page
   LUMIERE database


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.


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:

  • distributors would like to know how many tickets are sold and the exact amount of money taken by cinema owners as a result of their films;

  • right-holders (producers, directors, etc) would like precise figures showing how successful their films are;

  • public bodies would like detailed information about films they have supported financially. This information is particularly important since the MEDIA II programme has launched a system of automatic distribution aid based on the number of tickets sold for European films outside their national market .

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:

  • analysis of a film's success in different geographical areas;

  • analysis of shares in a particular market;

  • analysis of a film's success abroad;

  • analysis of trends specific to a particular region;

  • analysis by genre;

  • analysis of the performance of producers, distributors, directors and actors.

Various groups of people may carry out this type of analysis:

  • film industry analysts (working for companies and professional bodies);

  • national or European film authority directors;

  • consultants;

  • journalists;

  • university researchers.

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: Martin Kanzler).

3. Analysis of ticket sales for the purposes of estimating the commercial value of directors, actors, films or film libraries

Information on a film's commercial success in cinemas can be used to assess its commercial value in other markets:
  • distribution to cinemas abroad,

  • video sales,

  • sale of TV rights.

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.

© European Audiovisual Observatory

The data base LUMIERE provides a systematic compilation of available data on admissions of the films released in European cinemas since 1996. The data base is the result of the collaboration between the European Audiovisual Observatory and the various specialised national sources as well as the MEDIA Programme of the European Union.