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Report: impact of COVID-19 on Euro cinema industry

UNIC is collecting detailed information on the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on the cinema industry across the 38 territories it represents (please note, report is given below without statistical tables – download full report here).

1. CLOSURE PROCESS

SUMMARY
The vast majority of cinemas across Europe closed in mid-March, with the exception of Italy (with almost 50% closed from 23 February), Russia (all closed from 31 March) and Sweden (partly closed as the strict ban only applied to gatherings of 500+ and more recently 50+ people). In the territories where a deadline has been set, the current dates officially announced by national authorities for the end of distancing measures are slowly aligning to mid-April, with political leaders already mentioning potential extensions to May or June.

Please bear in mind that all the “potential reopening” dates included below are official dates from national authorities which are not only provisional but also subject to additional restrictions. The end of a lockdown in a territory will not necessarily mean the official reopening of its cinemas.
Austria and Denmark on 6 April were the first European countries to announce concrete plans to reopen their societies after coronavirus lockdowns. France, Belgium and others have announced the creation of expert groups to come up with an “exit strategy”.

2. SUPPORT MECHANISMS

SUMMARY
National support measures have already been announced across most of Europe, but with different level of details and effective actions from authorities. Several Government have simply declared the creation of a crisis management fund or aid package, without providing much information yet about its
redistribution, with stakeholders currently negotiating for their specific sector/interest. Other
Governments have been quicker at providing support and fast-tracking financial aid to those worst-hit by the crisis. Support schemes specific to the film sector have been quite limited so far. Film sector bodies across Europe have accelerated payments of subsidies and delayed payments of levies, when existent.

For taxation or employment related support schemes, see dedicated sections further down.
The list below provides an idea of the range of initiatives currently introduced across Europe.

National support:

SUMMARY
National support measures have already been announced across most of Europe, but with different level of details and effective actions from authorities. Several Government have simply declared the creation of a crisis management fund or aid package, without providing much information yet about its
redistribution, with stakeholders currently negotiating for their specific sector/interest. Other
Governments have been quicker at providing support and fast-tracking financial aid to those worst-hit by the crisis. Support schemes specific to the film sector have been quite limited so far. Film sector bodies across Europe have accelerated payments of subsidies and delayed payments of levies, when existent.

For taxation or employment related support schemes, see dedicated sections further down.
The list below provides an idea of the range of initiatives currently introduced across Europe.

National support:

  • Creation of national crisis management funds.
  • Support businesses worst hit by the crisis, including cinemas
  • Creation of dedicated support strategies for the film & cinema sector.
  • Suspend loan repayments & introducing guarantees with low/no interest.
  • Safeguard jobs.
  • Support livelihoods of those out of work.
  • Suspend tax payments.
  • Suspend rent payments, energy bills & other fixed costs for cinema operators.
    Cinema sector support:
  • Industry collaboration to support the sector.
  • Fast-track payment of subsidies and other support funds – when existent – to cinema operators.
  • Suspend film fund payments – when applicable.
  • Industry collaboration on future re-opening of cinemas

3. TAXATION

SUMMARY
National authorities across Europe have been quick at delaying payments of various taxes for individuals and businesses.

4. RENT AND RELATED EXPENSES

SUMMARY
Across Europe, with a few exceptions included below, exhibitors are currently still asked to pay rent and service charges by landlords, despite these properties being closed to the public.

5. EMPLOYMENT

SUMMARY
National authorities across Europe are slowly introducing measures to support jobs and livelihood of
their citizens. Several territories have offered to pay a significant share of employees’ salaries as long as
they were not laid off by their employers. A diversity of support mechanisms and compensations have
been introduced and continue to be updated daily as distancing measures are extended.

6. BOX OFFICE

Some of the figures below have been kindly shared by our colleagues at Comscore. Other figures are
estimates from UNIC members.

… download UNIC report (with statistics)

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