Keywords: Italian cinema, Contemporary cinema, Film consumption, Film distribution, Film geography.
This article aims at studying the variability of theatrical consumption of contemporary films in Italy. It draws upon the data about regional admissions and theatrical distribution of almost 5.300 titles, which are all the films (with more than 15.000 admissions) that had been projected in the country from January 2000 to the pandemic outbreak in February 2020. Italian and non-Italian films turn out to be consumed in very different ways, and regional consumption appears to be exceptionally relevant for Italian cinema, even if it is usually distributed homogeneously nationwide. The level of fragmentation of regional consumption of Italian films leads us to discuss some economic and industrial aspects
linked to this phenomenon, as well as to question if a national cinema really exists, without a proper national audience.