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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 March, 2005, 12:05 GMT
India 'cheapest for film tickets'
Cinema in Connaught Circle, India
Indian cinema tickets cost an average of $0.19, the research says
India and the United States are the cheapest countries to buy cinema tickets compared with earnings, according to a new Cinema Index.

Film fans in India have to work for just 16 minutes to earn enough to buy a ticket, based on average earnings and prices, research by Screen Digest says.

In the US, that figure is 24 minutes, followed by 26 minutes in China. The UK is 11th in the list at 35 minutes.

Bottom of the league is Bulgaria, where a ticket is worth 123 minutes' wages.

1. India - 16 minutes' wages
2. US - 24 mins
3. China - 26 mins
4. Luxembourg - 28 mins
5. Ireland - 30 mins
Source: Screen Digest
In India, workers earn an average of $0.70 (0.36) an hour, Screen Digest said - but cinema tickets cost just $0.19 (0.10).

In central Europe, Screen Digest said prices were "worryingly skewed towards the higher earners".

"This could lead to an unwelcome brake on cinema development in these territories," according to the research's author, David Hancock.

1. Bulgaria - 123 mins
2. Estonia - 118 mins
3. Thailand - 109 mins
4. Lithuania - 106 mins
5. Russia - 105 mins
Across the globe, the average working time needed to pay for cinema admission is 57 minutes.

Screen Digest hopes the Cinema Index will become a measure of the cost of entertainment around the world, just as the Big Mac Index has been used to track spending power.

Mr Hancock said: "The Cinema Index allows a similar comparison of relative pricing and wealth using the equally widespread medium of cinema."

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