Central European Cinema Market

The majority of the cinema markets in Central Europe are characterized by two ends of the spectrum – multiplex cinemas consisting of 8-14 screens and single screeners - usually older, more artistically oriented sites. The rapid development of shopping centres over the past decade, sometimes in combination with a multiplex cinema, has led to a concentration of screens in some larger markets.

This was recently followed by a second wave of mergers of multiplex operators, which means that most of these markets are now effectively subject to monopolies and duopolies. As a "third wave" entrant into the markets, Central European Cinemas provides an alternative to the limited choices in the multiplex market.

The opportunities today are two-fold. Older sites which are now outflanked by and vulnerable to new competition must adapt or die. Innovation and strategic customization are necessary to survive. There are still many opportunities for new, profitable sites across the region Customers eagerly embrace the "newer, brighter, bigger" shopping centre and cinema, if it is well-located and well-designed (the recent Arena in Budapest and Forum in Usti nad Labem shopping centres and cinemas are good examples). These sites will take audience away from older sites, but continued admissions growth forecast for these markets will help sites new and old.

A new factor in the market is the increasing amount of alternative content now available (opera, sporting events, concerts, big-screen videogaming, TV series, etc.) which means that the traditional view of the cinema is evolving. Rather than just being a place to see the latest film, cinemas are becoming to be seen as broader entertainment venues. Cinema operators are able to not only broaden their audience beyond the core of teens and young adults, they can also utilize their assets outside traditionally peak cinema-going hours (evenings and weekends). As a result, cinemas have been able to open up new revenue streams, especially when the audience for films is weaker.