The number of cinema visits in 2021 was the lowest in 16 years (corrected on 25.10.2022)

Posted on 25 October 2022, 8:00

In 2021, there were 25 full-length films produced in Estonia, including 14 feature films and 11 documentaries. 103 short films were produced: 46 documentaries, 45 feature films, and 12 animations. 299 films were shown on cinema screens, which is 69 fewer than in 2020. The number of cinema visits fell to 1.39 million.

The sentence marked in red has been corrected in the news release.

Erik Lest, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that last year's cinema attendance was the lowest in the past 16 years. The number of cinema admissions was in the same range in 2005 and 2006. “While the number of visits to cinemas in 2019 was nearly 3.7 million, last year it was close to 1.4 million, which means that compared with the pre-pandemic period, the number of visits has dropped by 2.3 million, or 2.7 times,” said Lest.

Film production, 2017–2021

By far the most popular film in cinemas was No Time to Die of the James Bond series, which was seen 98,095 times and grossed nearly 640,000 euros. It was followed by Fast & Furious 9, and the science fiction film Dune, based on the novel by Frank Herbert, with 56,555 and 53,545 admissions respectively. Among Estonian films, the feature film Estonian Funeral, based on the play of the same name by Andrus Kivirähk, topped the list last year with 43,083 admissions.

Number of cinema visits, 2000–2021

According to the analyst, social isolation, cautiousness, and fewer opportunities to participate in cultural activities have led Estonians to find alternative forms of entertainment other than cinema. “The use of streaming platforms such as Netflix, Elisa Hub, Jupiter or Viaplay, which gained popularity during the pandemic, seems to have had an impact on cinema attendance, and people are increasingly attracted by pay packages or free series and films offered by TV broadcasters,” said Lest.

178 films were imported to Estonia in 2021, which is 14% less than in 2020 and 37% less than in 2019, the year before the coronavirus pandemic outbreak. 94 films were imported from European countries, 75 from the United States, and 9 from other countries.

In addition to feature films, animations, and documentaries, Estonian enterprises produced 1,420 corporate films in 2021, including 793 advertising, 324 promotional, and 245 educational films. 58 music videos were made.

The data used were obtained from the Estonian Film Institute, the NGO Estonian Film Database, and collected through a survey conducted by Statistics Estonia.

More detailed data have been published on the website of Statistics Estonia.

See also the section on cinema and film production.


For further information:

Helen Maria Raadik
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9181

press [at] (press[at]stat[dot]ee)

Photo: Shutterstock