European Audiovisual Observatory releases new report on theatrical and VOD release of films in Europe

A new European Audiovisual Observatory report looks at how many films released in European cinemas since 1996 made it to Video-On-Demand. The report illustrates the complex relationships between the release of films in cinemas and on VOD. Author Gilles Fontaine, Head of the Observatory’s Department for Market Information, underlines that this relationship is one of “cooperation rather than competition: Cinema boosts VOD presence, while VOD opens up new markets to less successful films.”
Overall, a majority (56%) of European films released in cinemas between 1996 and 2020 were available on VOD in May 2020. Compared to US films, that’s a smaller share. But as there are many more European films than US films on release in cinemas, in absolute values, the number of European films which made it from cinemas to VOD is 2.6 times higher than the number of US films.

The interplay between cinema and VOD release seems to be twofold:

  • on the one hand a film released in cinemas (i.e. promoted by a cinema release) in a given country is more likely to be present in VOD in the same country;
  • on the other hand, films with a limited number of cinema admissions were often theatrically released in a very limited number of territories. The VOD release (when they get one) brings additional territories to the film.

Download “From Cinema to VOD – 2020 Edition” here


The European Audiovisual Observatory

Set up in December 1992, the European Audiovisual Observatory’s mission is to gather and distribute information on the audiovisual industry in Europe. The Observatory is a European public service body comprised of 41 member states and the European Union, represented by the European Commission. It operates within the legal framework of the Council of Europe and works alongside a number of partner and professional organisations from within the industry and with a network of correspondents. In addition to contributions to conferences, other major activities are the publication of a Yearbook, newsletters and reports, the compilation and management of databases and the provision of information through the Observatory’s Internet site (

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