ECA View: Another record-breaking year!

There were some notable successes over the past 12 months — Grainne Peat reflects on some of the highlights of 2019


LAST YEAR SAW unprecedented levels of success for event cinema at the UK and Ireland box office, comfortably eclipsing the previous record, £41.3m, set in 2018, taking over £53m from no fewer than 188 separate titles. The figures make for strong reading: eleven titles exceeded £1m (compared to four in 2018). September took £7m+ in BO making it the biggest month ever. NT Live’s “Fleabag” took over £4m+ making it the biggest event cinema show of all time. Close behind was “Les Misérables: the staged concert” in December that took £2.3m for one night only, making it the highest grossing one-night performance ever. Excitement and interest around event cinema continues to flourish and there is no doubt it is a growing area of cinema programming. Those working in event cinema content have successfully packaged a fruitful model that attracts new audiences; audiences that want a shared experience — whether it be theatre, opera, ballet, music concerts or sporting events. This content entertains audiences outside of the norms, too. This wealth of content makes the role of the ECA ever-more prominent. The ECA has already mapped out its ambitions and plans for 2020. Back by popular demand, we once again ran the ECA Slate Day in February at Vue West End, in London. The event featured presentations of upcoming titles from a wide range of providers including More2Screen, CinemaLive, Piece of Magic, Spotlight Cinema Network, Fathom, Nexo Digital, Fathom Events and CinEvents. Comscore’s Luke Williams investigated the box office trends and insights from 2019 and the day concluded with the ECA Box Office Awards 2019.


Activity Dates
Knowing how important it is for members to plan their year, the ECA have made the following commitments to have a presence at the below events over the course of the year.

  • UKCA Conference (London) 3-4 March 2020
  • CinemaCon 2020 (Las Vegas) 30 March – 2 April 2020
  • CineEurope 2020 (Barcelona) 22-25J une 2020
  • UNIC Cinema Days (Brussels) October 2020
  • ShowEast (Miami) 19-22 October 2020
  • MENA convention (Dubai) 27/29 October 2020
  • Norwegian Cinema Conference (tbc) 9-12 November 2020
  • ECA Networking Event (TBC) November 2020


There will be opportunities to support the Association at each of the main events. To express interest in participation or sponsorship, email

Agenda 2020
The ECA ensures that excitement about event cinema-going is represented effectively both inside and outside of the film industry. The ECA remains committed to helping to promote content and we will continue to develop and create a suite of marketing assets — including quarterly showreels of upcoming content — that are exclusively available to ECA members.

A firm focus in 2020 will be providing greater transparency by collating global box office data, insights, and market research to communicate international trends and strategies. The ECA will build on the results of the event cinema survey to develop training and standards around content delivery. 2020 is set to be a buoyant year for event cinema and the ECA!