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The Box Office Performance of European Films in the UK Market

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JournalStudies in European Cinema
DateE-pub ahead of print - 28 Dec 2016
Original languageEnglish


European films accounted for 17.4% of UK cinema releases in the period 2002 -2014, but only 1.8% of the gross box office. Drawing on box office data, audience surveys and interviews with industry players, this article argues that European films generally perform badly in the UK box office because they suffer from a heavy `cultural discount' and structural weaknesses at the level of production and distribution. Those European films which do `breakout' are either English-language films with qualities designed to appeal to a mainstream British audience (e.g. stars and special effects) or foreign-language films with cultural elements (e.g. well-known story, director, genre, subject matter or source material) which many British cinemagoers are already familiar with. Breakout European films are also mainly released by Hollywood studios or major independent distributors. These findings provide insights into academic and policy debates about transnational media flow.

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© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

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