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Statistical Report: Sci-fi Films in Europe

MeCETES publishes new statistical report on Sci-fi Films in Europe.

2015 was a big year for sci-fi. The widely anticipated seventh installment of Star War franchise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, smashed box office records, attaining the highest-grossing worldwide opening of all time and reaching $1 billion faster than any film in history. Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, Mad Max: Road Fury and The Martian were also amongst the biggest selling films of the year.

Ex-Machina-Cast-Wallpapers

Ex Machina (2015)

Not all the year’s sci-fi release were big-budget Hollywood blockbusters. Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, a British domestic production filmed in Norway and Pinewood Studios in the UK, attracted much critical acclaim, as did Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster, a pan-European co-production involving companies from Ireland, Greece, France, Holland and the UK.

However, as our latest statistical report on sci-fi films in Europe shows, sci-fi is still a fairly minor genre in Europe in terms of production, despite the strong appetite of European cinemagoers.

Here are the report’s key findings:

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Moon (2015)

Yet although Europe produces only a handful of sci-fi films per year, the genre has a long history in Europe. As Aidan Power, an expert on European sci-fi film from the University of Bremen, explains in his blog on Sci-fi and Europe, “the genre in its filmic form owes much to a European tradition dating to early silent cinema and beofre that the formative literary mode of scientific romance popularised by Jules Verne and later H. G. Wells”.

According to Power, the absence of major studios and an emphasis towards realist cinema are amongst the reasons why Europe has never produced a strong sci-fi tradition. Nevertheless, he notes there have been moments of intermittent popularity, “including British television output of the 1960s, 1970s Italian SF spoofs and a brief vogue for the genre in the Eastern Bloc of the 1980s”. Some of Europe’s best known auteurs – including Jean-Luc Godarad (Alphaville, 1965) and François Truffaut (Fahrenheit 451, 1966) and more recently Michael Haneke (Le temps du loup, 2003) and Lars von Trier (Melancholia, 2011) – have also played with the genre.

“European SF continues to garner plaudits with films such as Moon (Duncan Jones, 2009), Melancholia, Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013) and The Lobster receiving widespread critical acclaim. Furthermore, productions are slowly emerging from an increasingly diverse cross-section of European nations including Belgium, Croatia, Greece and Ireland,” Power concludes.

You can read Aidan Power’s article here, and download the MeCETES statistical report on sci-fi films in Europe.

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