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Celebrating European Cinema at CineEurope 2023

CineEurope 2023, Barcelona: 19 June 2023 – Welcoming delegates at the opening ceremony of this year’s CineEurope, Phil Clapp and Laura Houlgatte, President and CEO respectively of the European cinema trade grouping UNIC, today celebrated the unique appeal of the Big Screen experience.

Welcoming delegates at the opening ceremony to this year’s event, which is also UNIC’s annual convention, both highlighted the strong performance of the European cinema sector in 2022.

European cinema admissions grew by approximately 36 per cent, reaching 809 million visits across the region and the box office also experienced substantial growth, increasing by 55.3 per cent to an estimated €5.7 billion.

Local titles played a vital role in the success of the European cinema sector in 2022. France witnessed a market share of 41 per cent for domestic films, highlighting their significant contribution. Bulgaria, Slovenia, and Czechia all achieved record-high national shares of box office revenue. Romania celebrated two domestic films making the top ten for the first time, while Norway featured three local productions in its box office top ten.

The contributions made by colleagues at US studios were also acknowledged, underscoring the global reach and impact of their films. Top Gun: Maverick emerged as the highest-grossing film of 2022, earning an impressive $1.49 billion at the global box office. Jurassic World: Dominion, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Minions: The Rise of Gru were also notable box office hits. Furthermore, the long-awaited release of Avatar: The Way of Water, which garnered $798 million across EMEA and a staggering $2.3 billion globally, making it the highest-grossing film of all time in EMEA and the third-biggest film globally, was also highlighted.

2023 has already seen the release of several highly successful films that have captivated audiences worldwide such The Super Mario Bros Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, Spiderman Across the Spider-Verse and Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves. And the summer looks as promising with highly-anticipated US and European films such as: Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Oppenheimer, Barbie, Poor Things and Strange Way of Life amongst many others.

Phil Clapp and Laura Houlgatte also welcomed the move of Amazon and Apple into the theatrical space, as well as the breakthrough successes of recent A24 releases. They emphasised the positive impact of these developments in offering an ever wider range of diverse films for all audiences. They reiterated the significance of the theatrical model for the film industry, noting that the last year in particular had provided confirmation of it being the best way to drive revenues and protect content against film theft. 

Today’s speech also mentioned the successful UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme - with the seventh edition to be launched on 21 June - and the launch of the  UNIC People Programme, a new initiative with the mission of ensuring that the cinema industry remains an employer of choice. Also celebrated was the second iteration of Giants of Exhibition: Europe, a ranking of the top 50 European cinema groups by screen count in Europe published by UNIC in collaboration with The Boxoffice Company.

In closing the joint speech, Laura Houlgatte emphasised the imperative for EU policymakers and politicians to fully appreciate the immense economic, social and cultural value of cinemas.

Notes for editors

A copy of the keynote speech is attached to this Press Notice [check against delivery].

The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC)

The International Union of Cinemas/Union Internationale des Cinémas (UNIC) represents the interests of cinema trade associations and cinema operators covering 39 countries in Europe and neighbouring regions.


CineEurope 2023 is taking place 19-22 June at the Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona (CCIB) in Barcelona, Spain. CineEurope is the longest running and most successful European convention and trade show for major, regional, and independent cinema professionals. CineEurope will feature exclusive screenings and product presentations of upcoming films, sponsored events, timely and informative seminars, and the CineEurope Trade Show. CineEurope is the Official Convention of the International Union of Cinemas/Union Internationale des Cinémas (UNIC).

The Film Expo Group

The Film Expo Group is the premier organizer of events in the motion picture industry. The Film Expo Group produces CineEurope, held in Barcelona; ShowEast, held in Miami; and CineAsia, held in Bangkok.

Further enquiries | +48 519 803 858 | @CineEurope | @UNIC_Cinemas

Find the full Press Release here.
Find the transcript of the opening speech here.

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