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Pandemic hurts box office takings at Swiss cinemas

Fewer people were able to attend cinemas during the pandemic year of 2020. © Keystone / Thomas Delley

Ticket sales at Swiss cinemas plummeted by two-thirds last year as venues were forced to close their doors. Of the films that could be shown, Swiss movies made up a greater share of the total offering.

Official statistics out on Tuesday revealed the economic impact of Covid-19 on Switzerland’s 263 cinema theatres. Income fell from CHF193 million ($208 million) in 2019 to just CHF67 million last year.

The number of movie premieres dropped 43% as production companies postponed the release of new films. This was more pronounced for foreign movies than home-grown productions. As a result, the proportion of Swiss films being shown in cinemas rose to a record market share of 14%.

According to a related survey of movie consumption habits of the Swiss population between 2014 and 2019, the number of people saying they went to the movie theatre remained constant for the whole period – even among younger respondents.

Among other platforms, 36% of the survey respondents said they made use of Video on Demand to watch movies in 2019. The percentage of people viewing films on television and DVD declined during the period of the survey.

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