The rising popularity of cinemas can be explained by an increase in the number of cinemas and a wider selection of films as well as by the generally higher standard of living, Statistics Estonia said.
In 2017, 355 films were distributed in Estonian cinemas, 28 of which were produced in Estonia. For the second year running, more than half of films distributed were imported from European countries. At the same time, the proportion of films produced in the U.S. continued to decrease, and for the first time in this century, films produced in the U.S. accounted for less than one third of the films distributed in Estonian cinemas.
Although more and more films distributed in cinemas are produced in Europe, films produced in the U.S. nonetheless remain the most popular. The animated film “Despicable Me 3” was the most viewed film of the year, with a total attendance of nearly 149,000. Over half of cinemagoers saw films produced in the U.S., while the attendance of European films accounted for less than a quarter of all cinema visits. As many European films are screened during special festivals, they are typically screened for a shorter period and attract less viewers than Hollywood blockbusters.
The most popular Estonian film in 2017 was “The Dissidents” (“Sangarid“), with an attendance of over 85,000. Estonian films were seen in cinemas 282,000 times in all, grossing a total of more than €1.5 million. The box office of Estonian films accounted for 8% of the total box office in Estonia (€19.4 million).
22 full-length films were produced in Estonia in 2017, including 11 feature films and 11 documentaries. 30 short films, 70 short documentaries and 7 short animated films were also produced during the year. Although animated films remain popular in Estonian cinemas, none have been produced in Estonia in the last five years.