A report by EAO explains how films in Europe are financed. Direct public funding (29%) and broadcaster investments (25%) are the main sources.

For the 445 sample films considered by the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO), the median budget of a single theatrical live-action fiction film released in 2016 amounted to € 2.07 million. But average budgets differ widely among countries with the four largest markets included in the sample (France, Germany, Italy and the UK) having a median budget which amounts to € 3.3 million. This value goes down to 0,9 for films coming from the seven smallest markets (with fewer than 10 million admissions). Furthermore, international co-productions tend to have a 30% higher budget than entirely national films.

EAO highlits, then, the main financing sources of European works. The two most important financing sources clearly were direct public funding (€ 407.7 million, 29%) and broadcaster investments (€ 357.9 million, 25%). Following at a distance, the second most important pair of financing sources consisted of pre-sales (€ 222.4 millios, 16%) and producer investments (€ 215.7 million, 15%). Finally, fiscal incentives (€ 144.1 million, 10%) stood out as the fifth most relevant financing source. By the way the exclusion of French films from the sample analysis produces significantly different results because of the significant structural differences in financing structures on the one hand, and the large number of French films over the total production volume on the other. In this case, in fact, direct public contributes clearly emerges by far as the single most important funding origin of European fiction films, accounting for 41%.

Data about international the 156 sample international co-productions are interesting. Public funding (€ 99.3 million) was more important to international co-productions, accounting for 36% of their total financing volume, compared to 24% in the case of purely national films. In this way all other forms are far: brodcaster investments and producer investments amount each to € 99.3 million (19%). Pre-sales (€ 64.7 milion, 12%) and fiscal inventives (€ 43.5 milion, 8%) are even less important. So, according to EAO, co-productions appear to require a higher share of producer investments and public funds. In contrast, they attract less of their financing from pre-sales, broadcasters’ support and fiscal incentives.