Cinemas greatly benefitted from the surge in popularity of 3-D films in 2009-10 and 2010-11. Cinemas that show 3-D films have been able to charge higher viewing prices, as well as receive additional income from selling or renting 3-D glasses. This has also contributed to the industry defying the economic slowdown in recent years. Cinema attendance numbers have generally increased in the past five years, but at a lower rate than industry revenue. Following steady growth in cinema attendance from 2007 to 2009, visits declined by 2.4% in 2010 with a further fall of 0.7% anticipated in 2011. Intervoices believes these declines were due to a lag effect from the UK recession, and higher pricing levels. Steady increases in previous years were due to competitive pricing and the popularity of several film releases during the year.

Ticket prices have generally increased, especially with the increased popularity of 3-D films. This contributed to high industry revenue growth since 2008-09. Industry revenue is estimated to increase by 4.2% in 2010-11 from the previous year. Overall, revenue is estimated to grow at an average annualised rate of 3.3% in the five years to 2010-11, totalling £1.42 billion (constant 2010-11 prices).

Strong industry revenue growth is forecast to continue in 2011-12, with the expected release of several major films and sequels, and a greater number of 3-D films. For the year, industry revenue is expected to increase by 3.7% to £1.47 billion, despite an expected decline in cinema attendance of 0.4%. In the next five-year period, industry revenue is forecast to increase at an annualised rate of 2.4% to total £1.60 billion in 2015-16. Cinema attendance numbers are expected to increase at an annualised rate of 0.3% to 170.8 million in 2015-16.

ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group is Europe’s largest cinema chain and is owned by UK-based private equity firm, Terra Firma Capital Partners Limited. ODEON & UCI is also the UK’s largest cinema chain with 104 cinemas, accounting for an estimated one-quarter of all cinema tickets sold in the UK. By the end of December 2009, the company’s cinemas across the UK consisted of 832 screens, of which 102 were 3-D format. ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group operates another 100 cinemas across Europe with an additional 1,018 screens. Of these, 469 were 3-D screens as at June 2010. For the UK and European regions, total 2009 attendances were 74.9 million, up 5.5% for the year prior of 71 million.